Foreign Affairs

Articles from Vol. 97, No. 1, January/February

After Credibility: American Foreign Policy in the Trump Era
"Believe me." U.S. President Donald Trump has used that phrase countless times, whether he is talking about counterterrorism ("I know more about isis than the generals do. Believe me"), building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border ("Believe me, one...
All Is Not Forgiven: South Africa and the Scars of Apartheid
In old black-and-white photographs, the antiapartheid activist Ahmed Timol looks elegant, with an open face and a ready smile. One classic shot captures him midstride. Clad in dark sunglasses with a pipe dangling from his mouth, he has the dashing air...
Al-Qaeda’s Revenge: The 2004 Madrid Train Bombings
Al-Qaeda’s Revenge: The 2004 Madrid Train Bombings BY FERNANDO REINARES. Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Columbia University Press, 2017, 288 pp.During the morning rush hour of March 11, 2004, ten bombs exploded nearly simultaneously on Madrid's commuter...
America’s Original Sin: Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy
The documents most closely associated with the creation of the United States-the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution-present a problem with which Americans have been contending from the country's beginning: how to reconcile the values espoused...
At a Crossroads: Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean
Western Hemisphere At a Crossroads: Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean BY MARÍA MARTA FERREYRA, CIRO AVITABILE, JAVIER BOTERO ÁLVAREZ, FRANCISCO HAIMOVICH PAZ, AND SERGIO URZÚA. World Bank, 2017, 298 pp.Many Latin American countries...
Beware Greeks Bearing Rifts: Why Varoufakis Couldn’t Fix the Debt Crisis
Beware Greeks Bearing Rifts Why Varoufakis Couldn’t Fix the Debt Crisis Adults in the Room: My Battle With the European and American Deep Establishment BY YANIS VAROUFAKIS. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017, 560 pp.The Abrahamic religions take a radical...
China’s Cover-Up: When Communists Rewrite History
The Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong's "permanent revolution" destroyed tens of millions of lives. From the communist victory in 1949 in the Chinese Civil War, through the upheaval, famine, and bloodletting of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural...
Congo’s Slide into Chaos: How a State Fails
On January 16, 2001, the Democratic Republic of the Congo tumbled into uncertainty. The country's president, Laurent Kabila, had been sitting in his office at his marble palace in Kinshasa, the capital, when one of his teenage bodyguards entered, drew...
Cuba Libre: A 500-Year Quest for Independence/Waiting for Uncle John
Cuba Libre: A 500-Year Quest for Independence BY PHILIP BRENNER AND PETER EISNER. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017, 438 pp.Waiting for Uncle John BY JAMES OLIVER GOLDSBOROUGH. Prospecta Press, 2018, 320 pp.A productive partnership between Brenner, a veteran...
Don’t Speak, Memory: How Russia Represses Its Past
Every spring, buses covered in portraits of Joseph Stalin appear on the streets of Russian cities. His face replaces ads for cell phones, softdrinks, laundry detergent, and cat food. With each passing year, the dictator gets more handsome and more glamorous;...
From Nazism to Never Again: How Germany Came to Terms with Its Past
Defeated regimes are not only swiftly removed from power but often immediately erased from memory as well. When Adolf Hitler's "thousand-year German Reich" came crashing down in 1945 with the Allied victory in World War II, reminders of the 12 years...
Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the Case of North Korea
Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the Case of North Korea BY STEPHAN HAGGARD AND MARCUS NOLAND. Stanford University Press, 2017, 344 pp.Both of the main strategies that the major powers and international institutions have employed to deal with...
How the French Saved America: Soldiers, Sailors, Diplomats, Louis XVI, and the Success of a Revolution
How the French Saved America: Soldiers, Sailors, Diplomats, Louis XVI, and the Success of a Revolution BY TOM SHACHTMAN. St. Martin's Press, 2017, 368 pp.American high school history courses briefly mention that French intervention helped seal the success...
How to Stand Up to the Kremlin: Defending Democracy against Its Enemies
During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union faced offin an existential struggle between two antithetical systems. Either the Soviet bloc would "bury" the West, as Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened in 1956, or Western principles...
How to Waste a Congressional Majority: Trump and the Republican Congress
Governing is always hard in polarized times, but it has been especially hard during U.S. President Donald Trump's first year in office. Undisciplined and unpopular, Trump has been largely unable to advance his agenda on Capitol Hill despite Republican...
Jihad & Co.: Black Markets and Islamist Power
Middle East Jihad & Co.: Black Markets and Islamist Power BY AISHA AHMAD. Oxford University Press, 2017, 336 pp.This book is one of a kind, and so is its author. Ahmad is a female Muslim scholar born into a family of smugglers in Peshawar, Pakistan,...
Let Women Work: The Economic Case for Feminism
In June, Saudi Arabia will make it legal for women to drive, marking the end of one of the world's most conspicuous examples of gender discrimination. The ban's removal has been rightly hailed as a victory in a country that systematically limits women's...
Macron’s World: How the New President Is Remaking France
In 2015, before resigning his position as economy minister in President François Hollande's government, Emmanuel Macron explained his idea of French democracy to the newspaper Le 1. "Democracy," he said, "always implies some kind of incompleteness. ....
Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy after the Arab Spring
Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy After the Arab Spring BY ELLIOTT ABRAMS. Cambridge University Press, 2017, 295 pp.Abrams' experience in U.S. foreign policy stretches back to the Reagan years, but he is best known as a neoconservative who...
Reform or Revolution?: Iran’s Path to Democracy
Reform or Revolution? Iran’s Path to Democracy Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed BY MISAGH PARSA. Harvard University Press, 2016, 416 pp.Iran has often seemed to be on the brink of democracy. During the twentieth century, the...
Rwanda’s Recovery: When Remembrance Is Official Policy
When the Rwandan Patriotic Front (rpf), the rebel movement led by Paul Kagame, captured control of Rwanda and halted the genocide in July 1994, it inherited not so much a state as a cemetery. In the preceding 100 days, 800,000 people out of a national...
The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age
The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age BY DAVID N. SCHWARTZ. Basic Books, 2017, 480 pp.Man of the Hour: James B. Conant, Warrior Scientist BY JENNET CONANT. Simon & Schuster, 2017, 608 pp.Two...
The Retreat of Western Liberalism/The Fate of the West: The Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea
The Retreat of Western Liberalism BY EDWARD LUCE. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017, 226 pp.The Fate of the West: The Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea BY BILL EMMOTT. PublicAffairs, 2017, 272 pp.An anxious and beleaguered mood hangs...
The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics
Western Europe The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics BY DAVID GOODHART. Hurst, 2017, 280 pp.This book is timely, partly persuasive, and politically incorrect. Goodhart identifies two basic groups in British society: "anywheres"...
The Truth about the Minimum Wage: Neither Job Killer nor Cure-All
It has been more than eight years since many of the United States' cashiers, dishwashers, janitors, lifeguards, baggage handlers, baristas, manicurists, retail employees, housekeepers, construction laborers, home health aides, security guards, and other...
The Undead Past
How do nations handle the sins of the fathers and mothers? Take genocide, or slavery, or political mass murder. After such knowledge, what forgiveness-and what way forward?The Germans have a word for it, of course: Vergangenheitsbewältigung, or "coming...
Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought/The Expanding Blaze: How the American Revolution Ignited the World, 1775–184
Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought BY JAMES T. KLOPPENBERG. Oxford University Press, 2016, 912 pp.The Expanding Blaze: How the American Revolution Ignited the World, 1775-1848 BY JONATHAN ISRAEL. Princeton University...
Why China Won’t Rescue North Korea: What to Expect If Things Fall Apart
U.S. officials have long agreed with Mao Zedong's famous formulation about relations between China and North Korea: the two countries are like "lips and teeth." Pyongyang depends heavily on Beijing for energy, food, and most of its meager trade with...
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