Jeremi Suri

Jeremi Suri is a professor in the Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs. His new book is The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office.

Recent Articles

The Guns of August 'Locked and Loaded'

Donald Trump takes America to the brink.

(Balkis Press/Sipa USA via AP Images)
Violent rhetoric doesn’t always bring violence itself, but Donald Trump’s presidency is putting that relationship to the test. At home this month, white supremacists and neo-Nazis have brought street violence and murder to the quiet enclave of Charlottesville, Virginia. Abroad, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has been exchanging threats with Trump, who, without consulting regional allies or even his own top advisers, has promised to unleash “fire and fury” and announced that America’s weapons are “locked and loaded.” In an earlier article , I described Trump’s approach to foreign policy as “belligerent deterrence.” It sounds tough but reflects a stunningly simplistic understanding of policy: If my threats are more terrifying than the adversary’s, he will back down. Trump hopes to get his way by bullying foreign leaders he disdains, just as he has tried to bully other leaders at home, including, oddly enough, members of...

Blustering Toward Armageddon

How Donald Trump will take America to war

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
This article appears in the Winter 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . America’s wartime presidents have often been elected on promises to avert or to end wars. In 1915, Woodrow Wilson declared, “There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight.” Lyndon Johnson offered “peace without conquest.” George W. Bush pledged to avoid “nation-building” in his one serious statement about foreign policy during the 2000 election. Nonetheless, each of these presidents found himself embroiled in a war that cost thousands of American lives. And each left office deeply unpopular. Donald Trump is not like any other president in American history, but he will probably fit this pattern. He has claimed, falsely, that he opposed the disastrous war in Iraq, begun by George W. Bush in 2003. He has condemned Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for using military force to support the overthrow of Libyan tyrant Moammar Gadhafi. He has even...