U.S. History | Wilson Center

U.S. History

How Would Woodrow Wilson Captain the Fiscal Ship

Managing a budget is hard. Playing a game is easy. Doing both can get complicated.

Progress is Not Linear: A Book Event with Dr. Marjorie J. Spruill

Since thousands of women flooded into Houston, Texas for the 1977 National Women's Conference, women’s representation in policy and political leadership in the U.S. has increased: over the last 40 years, women’s participation in the Senate has increased by 21% and by 15% in the House. This has ensured key issues from 1977, such as maternity leave and equal pay, continue to play a role in national policy conversations.

Book Launch | Dean Acheson and the Obligations of Power

Dean Acheson is rightly remembered as the leading figure in the Truman administration in the years when the Cold War emerged, and, in particular, for his prominent role in the formulation of the American policy of containment. Yet Acheson’s contribution was more than that of Cold War statesman.

Revisiting the Iran-Contra Affair: 30th Anniversary Special Report

Thirty years ago, the nation’s capital was gripped by an investigation that involved the highest levels of the Reagan Administration and would come to be known as the “Iran-Contra Affair.” Then ABC News Correspondent John Martin was following the trail that led from Iran and Nicaragua to the White House. His work is recognized as some of the finest reporting on the story. He joins us to revisit the investigation in this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.


A History of the Iraq Crisis: France, the United States, and Iraq, 1991–2003

In March 2003, the United States and Great Britain invaded Iraq to put an end to the regime of Saddam Hussein, their bête noire since the 1991 Gulf War. The war was launched without a UN mandate and was based on the erroneous claim that Iraq had retained weapons of mass destruction. France, under President Jacques Chirac and Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, spectacularly opposed the US and British invasion, leading a global coalition against the war that also included Germany and Russia.

50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S.

50 Great American Places tells the often surprising, tragic, and engaging story of our nation through a journey to the locations and landmarks that are the foundation of American history. The book highlights the 50 most important cultural and historical sites in the United States through a collection of historical essays and photographs. The author will discuss the connections between the places, people, and events that range from the Freedom Trail in Boston, Massachusetts, to the Silicon Valley in Northern California.

Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan to a More Dangerous World

Nearly 30 years ago, Christina Lamb left Britain to become a journalist in Pakistan. From there, she entered Afghanistan as mujahideen fighters were battling the Russians. In 2001, U.S.-led forces entered Afghanistan.  Farewell Kabul tells how the West, in Lamb’s view, turned success into defeat—and how a mission that had once been seen as the right thing to do became a conflict that everyone wanted to exit.