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Louis F. Cooper

Realists, Pragmatists, and U.S. Foreign Policy (Guest Post by Louis F. Cooper)

Who are the most important American foreign-policy “realists” of the twentieth century?  A historian familiar with this terrain would likely answer with some or all of these names: Hans Morgenthau, George Kennan, Henry Kissinger, Walter Lippmann, and Reinhold Niebuhr.  Several respondents might also mention Nicholas Spykman or John Herz or Zbigniew Brzezinski.  Other names would be proposed as well; for instance, Joel Rosenthal’s Righteous Realists (1991) adds Dean Acheson to the quartet of Morgenthau, Kennan, Niebuhr, and Lippmann.  A political scientist answering the same question would not offer exactly the same list of names as a historian — a point Read more