Johns Hopkins Gazette | March 16, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 16, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 26
SAIS Scholar Pens Book on President Reagan, Cold War

By Felisa Neuringer Klubes

James Mann, Foreign Policy Institute author in residence at SAIS, has written a new book called The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War.

In the book, published this month by Viking, Mann explores the role that President Reagan played 20 years ago in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Was he as pivotal in the Cold War victory as his admirers say, or was he merely lucky, as some critics have argued?

Mann tackles this question by shedding new light on the hidden aspects of American foreign policy. He reveals previously undisclosed secret messages between Reagan and Moscow, internal White House intrigues, and battles with leading figures such as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, who repeatedly questioned Reagan's unfolding diplomacy with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. He details the background and fierce debate over Reagan's famous Berlin Wall speech and shows how it fitted into Reagan's policies. Ultimately, Mann dispels the facile stereotypes of Reagan in favor of a levelheaded, cogent understanding of a determined president and his strategy.

This book finally concludes that by recognizing the significance of Gorbachev, Reagan helped bring the Cold War to a close.

Mann is the best-selling author of Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, The China Fantasy, Beijing Jeep and About Face: A History of America's Curious Relationship With China From Nixon to Clinton. He was previously the diplomatic correspondent and foreign affairs columnist for The Los Angeles Times and served as the newspaper's Beijing bureau chief from 1984 to 1987. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Mann also has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and The Washington Post.


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