Conversations with History: Leslie H. Gelb 
Conversations with History: Leslie H. Gelb
by UC Berkeley
Video Lecture 9 of 10
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Date Added: August 17, 2009

Lecture Description

April 06, 2009. Power, Ideas and Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

Leslie H. Gelb

President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, for a discussion of his new book Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. Gelb analyzes what power is, demonstrates how most American leaders fail to understand it, and explains how the demons of ideology, domestic politics, and arrogrance lead to its misuse. Gelb then focuses on the architecture of power in the 21st century. Finally, he proposes a strategy for U.S. foreign policy and examines two problems--the international economic crisis and the Afghanistan Pakistan crisis and offers suggestions to President Obama about how he should proceed to avoid the pitfalls that wrecked previous administrations.

Leslie H. Gelb

President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Contact Info:

Phone: +1-212-434-9742; for all media requests call +1-212-434-9460

E-mail: [email protected]

Pulitzer Prize-winner, former correspondent for the New York Times, and senior official in State and Defense Departments; expert on U.S. foreign policy and national security. Author of the new book Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue Foreign Policy (HarperCollins, March 2009).

Expertise:  U.S. foreign policy; national security; Russia; Persian Gulf.

Experience: Columnist, Deputy Editorial Page Editor, Op-ed Page Editor, National Security Correspondent, Diplomatic Correspondent, New York Times (1981-93); Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1980-81); Assistant Secretary of State for political/military affairs (1977-79); Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution (1969-73); Visiting Professor, Georgetown University (1969-73); Director of Policy Planning and Arms Control for International Security Affairs, Department of Defense (1967-­69); Executive Assistant, U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javits (1966-67).


Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Journalism (1985); American Political Science Association (APSA) Woodrow Wilson Award for the best book on international relations (1981); Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Selected Publications:

Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue Foreign Policy (HarperCollins, March 2009); Anglo-American Relations, 1945-1950: Toward a Theory of Alliances (Taylor & Francis, 1988); Claiming the Heavens: The New York Times Complete Guide to the Star Wars Debate (coauthor, Crown Publishing Group, 1988); Our Own Worst Enemy: The Unmaking of American Foreign Policy (coauthor, Simon & Schuster, 1984); The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked (coauthor, Brookings Institution Press, 1980).

Course Index

Course Description

In these lively and unedited video interviews, distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work. Guests include diplomats, statesmen, and soldiers; economists and political analysts; scientists and historians; writers and foreign correspondents; activists and artists. The interviews span the globe and include discussion of political, economic, military, legal, cultural, and social issues shaping our world. At the heart of each interview is a focus on individuals and ideas that make a difference.

Harry Kreisler

Harry Kreisler is executive producer and host of the series, which is produced at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California - Berkeley. Conceived in 1982 by Mr. Kreisler as a way to capture and preserve through conversation and technology the intellectual ferment of our times, Conversations with History includes over 450 interviews.

Conversations with History is made possible by support from the Library of Congress and the National Science Foundation, from UCTV, and from UC Berkeley's Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Institute of Governmental Studies, and by the Ford endowment at the Institute of International Studies.


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