Wilson Center Experts

Melvyn P. Leffler

Senior Scholar
History and Public Policy Program

Expertise:
History
Affiliation:
Edward Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia
Wilson Center Project(s):
"George W. Bush and American Foreign Policy"
Term:
Jan 01, 2013
-
Jun 30, 2013

Melvyn P. Leffler is a former Wilson Center public policy scholar and the Edward R. Stettinius professor of history in the department of history at the University of Virginia (UVA). Leffler has served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UVA and as president of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations. Formerly, he has been a fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the United States Institute of Peace. Leffler served in the office of the Secretary of Defense during the Carter Administration, where he worked on arms control and contingency planning as a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is now a Faculty Associate at UVA’s Miller Center of Public Affairs.

In 1993 Leffler won the Bancroft Prize for A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration and the Cold War and, in 2008, won the George Louis Beer Prize for his book, For the Soul of Mankind: the United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. Among his other books are The Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953 and The Elusive Quest: America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919-1933.  Most recently, he is the co-editor (with Odd Arne Westad) of the Cambridge History of the Cold War and (with Jeff Legro) In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy After the Berlin Wall and 9/11.

Major Publications

  • When Walls Come Down: Strategic Planning in Uncertain Times, co-edited with Jeff Legro.  Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2011.
  • Cambridge History of the Cold War, co-edited with Odd Arne Westad, 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • To Lead the World: American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine, co-edited with  Jeffrey Legro.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War.  New York: Hill and Wang, 2007.
  • The Cold War: An International History, co-edited with David Painter.  2nd edition,   London: Routledge, 2005.
  • The Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917- 1953.  New York: Hill & Wang, 1994.
  • A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War.  Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992.
  • The Elusive Quest: America’s Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919- 1933. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.
  • General Editor:  Shapers of International History  ( a new series of short biographies, published by Potomac books.  Two volumes have appeared; another will be out in 2012.  About ten more have been contracted).
     
Previous Terms at the Wilson Center:
May 1, 2011 - April 30, 2012

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