David Kennedy

David M. Kennedy teaches history at Stanford University. His most recent book, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for history. He is currently working on The Americans, a study of the distinctiveness of the nation's historical experience.

Recent Articles

The American Way of Power

Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World By Walter Russell Mead. Alfred A. Knopf, 374 pages, $30.00 T his book begins with a bang and ends with a kvetch. "The United States has had a remarkably successful history in international relations," Walter Russell Mead proclaims in his opening pages. That such a common-sense statement might be regarded as provocative, Mead claims, testifies both to the myopia of much learned commentary on foreign policy and to most Americans' ignorance of their own diplomatic traditions. Those failings he energetically sets out to remedy. Mead presses his case with panache. Along the way he dispenses some trenchant aper├žus: "A global hegemon leads a hard and busy life"; "the United States of America is the most dangerous military power in the history of the world"; "the advantages of democratic government apply in international affairs as well as in domestic ones"; and "France, Germany, Italy, and Britain may have sneered at [...