Political History

Think Again: Ronald Reagan

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
June 7, 2010 |

"Ronald Reagan Was the Ultimate Hawk."

Not so much. These days, virtually every time someone on the American right bashes President Barack Obama for kowtowing to dictators or failing to shout that we're at war, they light a votive candle to Ronald Reagan.

A Governor's Private Letters

  • By
  • Joe Mathews,
  • New America Foundation
June 5, 2010 |

If you really can tell a lot about a man by reading his mail, then the Jerry Brown who served as governor of California 30 years ago is very much like the Jerry Brown running for governor today:

Political. Thrifty. Intellectually curious about new ideas and technologies. Cool and cautious even when people are demanding quick action. And more than a little enigmatic.

I recently began reading the personal mail that Brown, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor this year, received and sent during his first governorship, which extended from 1975 to 1983.

The Unspoken Alliance

Friday, June 4, 2010 - 12:30pm
On June 4, The New America Foundation welcomed Sasha Polakow- Suransky, the author of The Unspoken Alliance, and Tony Karon, Senior Editor at Time Magazine, to discuss Suranksky’s recent groundbreaking book on the South Africa- Israel relationship.

Suranksky’s book uncovered and exposed the before- hidden history of the relationship between Israel and South Africa that occurred largely in the 1970s-1980s. The basis of the relationship between the two countries lied in their military cooperation, joint nuclear testing, and transfer and coordination of military technology.

Hubris and American Foreign Policy

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 12:15pm
Today’s event was a conversation between Schwartz Senior Fellow, Peter Beinart, and New York Times Op-Ed columnist, David Brooks, on the subject of Beinart’s latest book, he Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris. The two authors were moderated by Steve Coll. Beinart first discussed the content of his book, which looks at the evolution of American foreign policy as a result of a dangerous pattern of hubris.

Will the Great Recession Lead to World War IV?

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
May 11, 2010 |

The final resolution of last week's British election is unclear. What is clear is that the results marked a defeat for the ruling Labour Party, which received less than 30 percent of the vote nationally. Already, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has fallen on his sword, and if Labour manages to cling to power now, it will only be in a tenuous alliance with the Liberal Democrats and a handful of tiny parties. Meanwhile, David Cameron's Conservative Party, which received more votes than any other party, is in talks with the third-place Liberal Democrats to form a government.

Fear of Immigrants

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
May 3, 2010 |

Why are large chunks of the American right so freaked out by illegal immigrants? Because they are no longer so freaked out by African-Americans.

And in this regard, the politics of 2010 are more like 1910 than 1970.

Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt v. the Supreme Court

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 5:30pm

On April 27, Jeff Shesol discussed his new book, Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court. Shesol, former Speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, was joined by Walter Dellinger, former Acting Solicitor General. They were introduced by Andrés Martinez, Director of New America's Bernard L. Schwartz Fellows Program.

Why We Should Worry About Political Violence

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
April 12, 2010 |

The recent spike in violent political rhetoric coupled with last week's arrest of two men who threatened the lives of two Democratic House members has a lot of commentators worried about a surge in domestic political terrorism.

Those fears are misplaced. Not because there won't be violence, but because politically inspired violence won't necessarily be aimed at politicians.

Our Unlimited Government

  • By
  • Reihan Salam,
  • New America Foundation
April 13, 2010 |

As John Paul Stevens retires from the Supreme Court after a long and distinguished career, it's worth remembering that he was a complicated and, in many respects, very admirable figure, and not just because of his legendary personal charm. Though considered the Court's leading liberal jurist, Stevens embraced a number of libertarian ideas.

Politics And Faith

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
April 9, 2010 |

Reading Ian Buruma makes you feel parochial. In “Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents,” he writes intimately about the relationship between politics and faith in Britain, the Netherlands, France, China, Japan and the United States. And beneath every cliché — about American religious fervor, French intolerance or Japanese godlessness — he uncovers ironies that wreak havoc with popular stereotypes.

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