The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy: A Conversation with Walter McDougall
01-10-2017 12:00pm

The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy: A Conversation with Walter McDougall

Thanks for your interest in attending our upcoming event, “The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy – A Conversation with Walter McDougall”

This event has reached capacity, however, if you’re interested in joining the waitlist, please email and we’ll let you know if additional tickets become available.

The Charles Koch Institute is delighted to host a luncheon with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Walter A. McDougall, who will discuss his latest book, The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy: How America’s Civil Religion Betrayed the National Interest (Yale University Press, 2016).

His remarks will trace the evolution of America’s civic dogma and the profound impact it has had on this nation’s foreign affairs. As Publishers Weekly recently noted, McDougall illuminates the specter of a “non-sectarian civil religion” and our precarious faith “that God (the god of all religions) smiles favorably on the U.S., especially on its interventions in others’ affairs.”

McDougall will speak hard truths about America’s pursuit of an increasingly elusive global destiny—from the revolutionary experiment of this nation’s founding to the Cold War campaign against “godless Communism” to the impulses and ideologies that motivate today’s War on Terror.



Walter A. McDougall is a professor of history and the Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. His numerous books include the 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heavens and the Earth. He lives in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.


William P. Ruger is the vice president for research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute. He was previously an associate professor in the political science department at Texas State University. A veteran of the Afghanistan War, Ruger currently serves as an officer in the U.S. Navy (Reserve Component).

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