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Why Wilson Matters | Tony Smith

Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (CDT)

Why Wilson Matters | Tony Smith

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General Admission   more info Apr 19, 2017 Free  

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The liberal internationalist tradition is credited with America's greatest triumphs as a world power—and also its biggest failures. Beginning in the 1940s, imbued with the spirit of Woodrow Wilson's efforts at the League of Nations to "make the world safe for democracy," the United States steered a course in world affairs that would eventually win the Cold War. Yet in the 1990s, Wilsonianism turned imperialist, contributing directly to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the continued failures of American foreign policy.

Why Wilson Matters explains how the liberal internationalist community can regain a sense of identity and purpose following the betrayal of Wilson's vision by the brash "neo-Wilsonianism" being pursued today. Drawing on Wilson's original writings and speeches, Tony Smith traces how his thinking about America's role in the world evolved in the years leading up to and during his presidency, and how the Wilsonian tradition went on to influence American foreign policy in the decades that followed—for good and for ill. He traces the tradition's evolution from its "classic" era with Wilson, to its "hegemonic" stage during the Cold War, to its "imperialist" phase today. Smith calls for an end to reckless forms of U.S. foreign intervention, and a return to the prudence and "eternal vigilance" of Wilson's own time.

Why Wilson Matters renews hope that the United States might again become effectively liberal by returning to the sense of realism that Wilson espoused, one where the promotion of democracy around the world is balanced by the understanding that such efforts are not likely to come quickly and without costs.

Tony Smith is the Cornelia M. Jackson Professor of Political Science at Tufts University. His many books include America's Mission: The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy and The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-First Century (both Princeton).

A light reception will precede the event beginning at 5:30 pm, with the lecture starting at 6:00 pm. 

Parking will be available on the SMU campus. FREE passes will be emailed to registered guests before the event.  Seating is limited, and not guaranteed.  

Professor Wilson's publication of the same title will be available for purchase and signing after the event.   

TEACHERS ONLY -- Please sign in at the registration table to receive continuing education credit.

Have questions about Why Wilson Matters | Tony Smith? Contact Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University

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When & Where

SMU Campus, McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall
3225 University Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75205

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (CDT)

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Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University

The Center for Presidential History at SMU is dedicated to exploring the story and legacy of the nation’s chief executives through cutting-edge research, academic and public forums and production of archival records for future generations through a wide-ranging presidential collective memory project.

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