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The Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and the World on the Brink

Date & Time

Dec. 8, 2022
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Zoom Webinar


Scholars continue to debate the role that President Ronald Reagan played in the peaceful end of the Cold War. This book argues that Reagan devised a comprehensive strategy to both win and end the Cold War, by pursuing the Soviet Union’s “negotiated surrender.”  He did so by combining force and diplomacy in a consistent campaign of both pressure and outreach to the Kremlin throughout his eight years in office.  In particular he sought to induce the Kremlin to select a reformist leader with whom he could negotiate, and thus foreshadowed Gorbachev’s accession to power.

William Inboden is executive director of the Clements Center for National Security and associate professor of public affairs and history at the LBJ School, both at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds an A.B. from Stanford and PhD from Yale, both in history. His favorite books include John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment (2005), David Kennedy, Freedom From Fear (2001), and Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History (1952)

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.


William Inboden

William Inboden

Executive Director of the Clements Center for National Security and Associate Professor of Public Affairs and History at the LBJ School, University of Texas at Austin

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

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