As director for European affairs at the National Security Council from 1989 to 1992, Robert Hutchings was at the heart of U.S. policymaking toward Europe and the Soviet Union during the dizzyingly fast dissolution of the Soviet bloc. American Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War presents an insider's report on and analysis of U.S. performance during a crucial turn of world history.

Hutchings also brings a scholar's balanced judgment and historical perspective to his insider's view as he reconstructs how things looked to policymakers in the United States and in Europe, describes how and why decisions were made, and critically examines those decisions in the light of what can now be known. He assesses the critical support of U.S. diplomacy for the East European revolutions and the unification of Germany—offering fascinating character sketches along the way—and describes how U.S. relations with Moscow were managed up to the collapse of the USSR. Hutchings also discusses the difficulties in forging a post-cold war European order and U.S. failures in dealing with a disintegrating Yugoslavia.

Robert L. Hutchings was director for European affairs at the National Security Council in 1989–92 and special adviser to the secretary of state in 1992–93. He has taught at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and at the University of Virginia, and was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1993–94.


1. American Grand Strategy

2. The Revolutions of 1989

3. The Diplomacy of German Reunification

4. Towared a Post-War World Order

5. The Challenges of Post Communist Transition

6. The United States and Eastern Europe

7. Europe in Search of Security

8. The Return of History

Conclusion: Beyond the Cold War


"This well-written study of the Bush administration's European policy gives a vivid account of the diplomatic strategies and processes that attended the liberation of Eastern Europe, the unification of Germany, and the collapse of the Soviet Union."—Foreign Affairs

"[American Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War: An Insider's Account] covers much more ground than German unification, but as a Slavic expert he focuses on the end of the cold war and its implications for European security. The author writes well, charming the reader with a sly and confidential tone, and winking as if to say, we both know that diplomats wear not only striped suits but stuffed shirts."—Orbis

"There are insiders and insiders, and I suppose one could not be more of an insider than either Robert Hutchings (member of the National Security Council between 1989 and 1992 and special adviser to James Baker) or Richard Hass . . . [American Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War] is full of insight on the policy process and the debates which took place within the US administration between 1989 and 1992."—Michael Cox, International Affairs

"Hutchings's analysis of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union during the crucial years of 1989-1992 is outstanding for its sharp, clear analysis and the precision of its historical judgements. At the same time it is written in a lively manner that will appeal to both academic experts and general readers."—Gerhard Wettig, Journal of Cold War Studies

"I found Hutchings's descriptions of American foreign policy during his stint in the National Security Council fascinating. The author is extremely well informed, uses sources not available to ordinary researchers, writes solidly, even exhibits a sense of humor, and provides detailed insights into the nuts and bolts of policy formation."—Gale Stokes, Rice University, author of The Walls Came Tumbling Down