When the World Seemed New: George H. W. Bush and the End of the Cold War

Southern Methodist University Thursday, Nov 30, 2017   |   12:30-2:00 PM   |  Jamail Room (MAI 212)

The Clements Center hosted a book talk with Jeffrey Engel on his new book When the World Seemed New: George H. W. Bush and the End of the Cold War. Jeffrey Engel is an American history scholar and director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU. This event was part of our series on the American Presidency and was co-sponsored by the UT Department of History.

The end of the Cold War was the greatest shock to international affairs since World War II. In that perilous moment, Saddam Hussein chose to invade Kuwait, China cracked down on its own pro-democracy protesters, and regimes throughout Eastern Europe teetered between democratic change and new authoritarians. Not since FDR in 1945 had a U.S. president faced such opportunities and challenges.

As the presidential historian Jeffrey Engel reveals in this page-turning history, behind closed doors from the Oval Office to the Kremlin, George H. W. Bush rose to the occasion brilliantly. Distrusted by such key allies as Margaret Thatcher and dismissed as too cautious by the press, Bush had the experience and the wisdom to use personal, one-on-one diplomacy with world leaders. Bush knew when it was essential to rally a coalition to push Iraq out of Kuwait. He managed to help unify Germany while strengthening NATO. Based on unprecedented access to previously classified documents and interviews with all of the principals, When the World Seemed New is a riveting, fly-on-the-wall account of a president with his hand on the tiller, guiding the nation through a pivotal time and setting the stage for the twenty-first century.

Jeffrey A. Engel, Ph.D., is an award-winning American history scholar and director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. The author or editor of nine books, he is an expert on the U.S. presidency and American diplomatic history.

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