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Walter Russell Mead

Walter Russell Mead is the Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and one of the country’s leading students of American foreign policy. His book, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), was widely hailed by reviewers, historians, and diplomats as an important study that will change the way Americans and others think about American foreign policy. Among several honors and prizes, Special Providence received the Lionel Gelber Award for the best book in English on international relations in 2002. The Italian translation won the Premio Acqui Storia, awarded to the most important historical book published in Italian.

His most recent book, God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), is a major study of 400 years of conflict between Anglophone powers and rivals ranging from absolute monarchies like Spain and France through Communist and Fascist enemies in the twentieth century to al-Qaeda today.

Mr. Mead writes regularly on international affairs for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, New Yorker, Atlantic, Harper’s, and Esquire. He serves as a regular reviewer of books for Foreign Affairs and frequently appears on national and international radio and television programs. In 1997, he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in the category of essays and criticism.

Mr. Mead’s chief intellectual interests involve the rise and development of a liberal, capitalist world order based on the economic, social, and military power of the United States and its closest allies. He is interested in the implications of this evolving world order for American foreign policy and for American and international society.

He is an honors graduate of Groton and Yale, where he received prizes for history, debate, and the translation of New Testament Greek. He has traveled widely in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, and often speaks at conferences in the United States and abroad. He is a founding board member of the New America Foundation. He is a native of South Carolina and lives in Jackson Heights, New York.