On October 26, the Nixon Foundation hosted professor, columnist, and foreign policy grand strategist, Walter Russell Mead to discuss his latest book, The Arc of a Covenant, as part of their continuing American civics educational programming. 

In The Arc of a Covenant, Mead takes a bold look at how the American-Israeli relationship affects contemporary politics, and how it will influence the future of American life. He offers a new perspective by examining the influence of American identity on foreign policy. 

Mead’s presentation covered what he referred to as “the Nixon legacy and Israel.” He explained that there were two reasons he was thinking about President Nixon as he wrote his book. The first is that America’s foreign policy with Israel is founded on a solid mutual interest which he described as “a very Nixonian way of thinking.”

Then, after noting that President Nixon’s foreign policy is often criticized for the lack of attention placed on human rights, Mead argued that the foreign policy achievements of President Nixon and Dr. Henry Kissinger laid the groundwork for future administrations. The foreign policy achievements of the Nixon administration made America’s position in the world stronger, making later progress in human rights possible and, according to Mead, “this is all something we need to think about as we look at a very dangerous world today.”

Mead is the James Clark Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship at Hudson Institute, and the Global View columnist at The Wall Street Journal. He served as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in American Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and as a Brady-Johnson Fellow in Grand Strategy at Yale University.