In This Review
Writing History and Making Policy: The Cold War, Vietnam, and Revisionism

Writing History and Making Policy: The Cold War, Vietnam, and Revisionism

By Richard A. Melanson

University Press of America, 1983, 283 pp.

An interesting study of ways in which historians of 20th century American foreign policy have sought to influence policy and of how policymakers, in turn, incorporate historical assumptions in their work. The author uses the Carter Administration as a case study, and for that purpose interviewed two dozen former officials in 1981. He concludes that the Carter Administration applied "the lessons of Vietnam" no more effectively than the earlier cold warriors applied "the lessons of Munich."