Hans J. Morgenthau (1904–1980) was a legal scholar and theorist of international relations. Educated in Germany and Switzerland, Morgenthau taught for many years at the University of Chicago; later in life, he moved to The New School and The City University of New York. His books include In Defense of The National Interest, Politics Among Nations, and The Purpose of American Politics.

Wild Bunch

It may appear banal to assert once again that America is in the throes of a crisis—or rather a series of crises—more threatening to its survival as a civilized society and a liberal, democratic polity than any previous ones have been. Yet the government, whose legitimacy rests upon its willingness …

Reflections on the End of the Republic

Rereading now the essays I have written for this and other papers in the Sixties, I am struck by the activistic, almost rationalistic, mood that permeates them. One only needed, or so it seemed, to call the President’s attention to the probable consequences of certain policies and show him the …

From Napoleon to Armageddon

On my way to the 19th Pugwash Conference at Sochi on the Black Sea, I stopped in Paris and Leningrad. I wanted to see the exhibitions commemorating the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s birth, and I wanted to see Leningrad, which I had not seen before. The impression these detours left …

Inquisition in Czechoslovakia

The political act, in its distinctive essence, is a matter of interests defined in terms of power, which ideologies seek to clothe with rational necessity and moral worth. More particularly, judgments of necessity and worth are relative to the interests and power of the observer; what appears inevitable and noble …

Historical Justice and the Cold War

Goethe remarked to Eckermann that the man who acts is always unjust and that nobody can be just except the man who observes. Twenty-five years ago, I quoted that epigram with approval. But having in the meantime read the writings of many trained observers of past political events, that is, …

The Lesser Evil

Perfect democracy gives the voter a choice between different policies by giving him a choice between different candidates, each identified with a different policy. We probably had such a choice in 1952 and 1956 when we could choose between Eisenhower and Stevenson, and we thought we had it in 1964 …

A Talk with Senator McCarthy

Talking to Eugene McCarthy again after an interval of a couple of years, one is first of all impressed with the absence of any effect the momentous events of this year have had upon his personality and behavior. Most public men—and, for that matter, most private men as well—play roles …

On Robert Kennedy

The emotions have had their day. We have witnessed a funeral which for most of us must have been the most moving ever seen, quite different in its monumental privacy from the somber pomp and circumstance of John F. Kennedy’s state funeral. The grief of a family was made visible …

Time for a Change

It is hardly a sensational discovery that the foreign policy of the United States is in urgent need of radical rethinking. We have been living off the capital of the great innovations—containment, the Marshall Plan, and the Truman Doctrine—which, in the Spring of 1947, transformed American policy. These policies were …

All the Way With LBJ

This is the best book thus far written on the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. It has the same psychological acumen, quality of political analysis, wealth of detailed and, in good measure, new information as do the best books written on John F. Kennedy’s stewardship. It is eloquent testimony to …

Room at the Top

Stripped of all pretenses, double-talk, and outright lies, two simple and stark choices face the United States in Vietnam. One derives from the assumption that in Vietnam the credibility of the United States and its prestige as a great power are irrevocably engaged, that the war in Vietnam is a …

The Colossus of Johnson City

“Someone has said,” wrote Lord Bryce in The American Commonwealth, “that the American Government and Constitution are based on the theology of Calvin and the philosophy of Hobbes. This at least is true, that there is a hearty Puritanism in the view of human nature which pervades the instrument of …

Monuments to Kennedy

When I met John F. Kennedy in 1956, at a symposium sponsored by the American Friends of Vietnam, I tried to size up the man and was baffled. What, if anything, I wondered, was behind that bland, slick, polished façade, with words and gestures moving with almost mechanical precision? Fate …

Vietnam: Shadow and Substance

The comment on our policy in Vietnam most frequently heard in Washington in the summer of 1965 consists of two questions: How did we ever get into this mess, and since we are in it, and cannot get out through negotiations, what can we do but stay? These questions deserve …

The UN in Crisis

These two books make melancholy reading. They appear at a moment when their object, the United Nations, is paralyzed by a crisis which threatens its very existence as an operating international organization; yet they are full of pride over past achievements and of hope for the future. Reading them with …

The Death of Marxism

Professor Richard Lowenthal of the Free University of Berlin has collected in this volume a number of papers he has written since 1955 on the crisis of Communism. The result is a penetrating analysis of the intellectual decay and political disintegration which have befallen Communism during the last decade. The …

The Sweet Smell of Success

From the seventh floor of the Department of State where the author of View from the Seventh Floor has his office as Counselor and Chairman of the Policy Planning Council, the international landscape looks pleasant enough. True, old problems remain to be solved, and new ones are to be expected.

The Fate of the Union: Kennedy and After

Man has an inveterate tendency to personalize history and to attribute to the “great men” unique and irreplaceable qualities. When Roosevelt died in April, 1945, we thought it was the end of the world. Eisenhower rode to office in 1953 on the slogan “It’s time for a change,” and when …