Eliot A. Cohen

Eliot A. Cohen

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I am a very fortunate professor - teaching at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, the country's leading school of international relations; having had opportunities to serve in government, most recently as Counselor of the Department of State from 2007 to 2009; and exercising the freedom to move between the worlds of history and policy. My new book, THE BIG STICK, is about the relationship between military power and American foreign policy. It is very much of the moment, contributing (I hope) to the great debate that should have been occasioned by the end of the Cold War, but which was delayed first by the easy times of the 1990's and by the emergency mood of the early 2000's. THE BIG STICK makes the case both for the open world order we helped create in the 1940's and for the military muscle required to maintain it. Writing some parts of it were difficult, to include coming to terms with events in which I had played a minor part, to include the 2003 Iraq war. It is not a memoir, but it was certainly shaped by my time in public service. And whether the Trump administration takes the arguments to heart or not, it should help anyone who wants to think through America's strategic challenges in the years ahead. After THE BIG STICK, back to history. I enjoyed researching and writing CONQUERED INTO LIBERTY, a book about how the American way of war originated in nearly two centuries of conflict with Canada along what Native Americans once called The Great Warpath, the Albany-Montreal corridor. It is those multi-year plunges into the past that keep me sane and oriented in the turbulent present. The great military historian Michael Howard once advised me, in my writing, to alternate between the strategic predicaments of today and those of bygone years - wise advice from a wise scholar, and I intend to follow it!
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