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Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Wars in Southeast Asia

Date & Time

Feb. 27, 2023
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Online Only


In analyzing Nixon and Kissinger’s failed Vietnam policy, Carolyn Eisenberg emphasizes the competing pressures of the national security bureaucracies on the one hand and the role of the antiwar movement and Congress on the other. Her narrative reveals how a systemic indifference to suffering on the ground led to faulty decision-making. By closely examining Nixon and Kissinger’s diplomacy with the Soviet Union and China, she reveals the falsity of the “credibility” justification of their decision-making.

Carolyn Eisenberg is a professor of US history and American Foreign Policy at Hofstra University. Her book Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger and the Wars in Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press ) was published this month.. Her previous book Drawing the Line: the American Decision to Divide Germany,1944-49 (Cambridge University Press, 1986) won the Stuart Bernath Book Prize, the Herbert Hoover Library Book Prize, and was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Book Award.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.


Carolyn Eisenberg

Carolyn Eisenberg

Professor of US history and American Foreign Policy, Hofstra University

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

Indo-Pacific Program

The Indo-Pacific Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on US interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more

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