Originally Posted: Nov. 8, 2017
When the World Seemed New is a remarkable book about a remarkable person. Southern Methodist University professor Jeffrey Engel describes in engrossing detail the patient and sophisticated strategy President George H.W. Bush pursued as the Cold War came to an end.
Engel writes that Bush “guided the world through dangerous moments, whose peaceful outcome in hindsight continues to obscure their difficulty.” Bush was one of those one-term presidents (John Adams is another who comes to mind) whose tenure tends to be underrated because of its brevity. Becoming president in the shadow of the intriguing relationship between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, Bush’s first move was to hit the brakes. He thought, notes Engel, that Reagan had been too trusting of the Soviets and that Gorbachev, in Bush’s words, “had eroded U.S. leadership in Europe.” READ MORE