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Safeguarding Democratic CapitalismU.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, 1920-2015$
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Melvyn P Leffler

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196510

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196510.001.0001

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Dreams of Freedom, Temptations of Power

Dreams of Freedom, Temptations of Power

(p.243) 8 Dreams of Freedom, Temptations of Power
Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism

Melvyn P. Leffler

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the end of the Cold War as well as its implications for the September 11 attacks in 2001, roughly a decade after the Cold War ended. While studying the Cold War, the chapter illustrates how memory and values as well as fear and power shaped the behavior of human agents. Throughout that struggle, the divergent lessons of World War II pulsated through policymaking circles in Moscow and Washington. Now, in the aftermath of 9/11, governments around the world drew upon the lessons they had learned from their divergent national experiences as those experiences had become embedded in their respective national memories. For policymakers in Washington, memories of the Cold War and dreams of human freedom tempted the use of excessive power with tragic consequences. Memory, culture, and values played a key role in shaping the evolution of U.S. national security policy.

Keywords:   Cold War, September 11, 9/11 attacks, World War II, U.S. national security

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