Essay

An aerial photo shows the explosion over Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, shortly after the "Little Boy" atomic bomb was dropped.

The Hiroshima Effect

Seventy-five years after the first nuclear bomb fell, we are grateful it hasn’t happened again, mystified it didn’t, and terrified it still might.

Italy’s Benito Mussolini addresses a crowd in Rome on April 15, 1934.

Why Fascists Fail

History’s autocrats have been the architects of their own demise. Even if he seizes power, so will Trump.

People wait in line to receive food in Queens, New York, on May 11.

To Fight Inequality, the United States Needs an FDR. Can Biden Deliver?

The COVID-19 crisis could lead to a modern-day New Deal—but only if Democrats have the courage to replace failed economic policies with radical reforms.

A team of dressmakers works in a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Nov. 22, 2012.

This Is What the Future of Globalization Will Look Like

The pandemic proved, once and for all, that the world can’t be flat. But global trade can recover—if we rewrite the rules.

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Crises Only Sometimes Lead to Change. Here’s Why.

The coronavirus pandemic won’t automatically lead to reforms. Great upheavals only bring systemic change when reformers have a plan—and the power to implement it.

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Welcome to the Post-Leader World

The United States has abdicated its dominant role. Here’s how to fill the gap.

George Washington and some of the more than 300 enslaved people who worked at Mount Vernon

How America’s Founding Fathers Missed a Chance to Abolish Slavery

They swept the issue under the rug, and even Thomas Jefferson realized that civil war was inevitable before he died on July 4, 1826. But history could have taken a different direction.

Thomas Jefferson’s monument in Washington

If Americans Grappled Honestly With Their History, Would Any Monuments Be Left Standing?

The furor over police abuse of Black communities is raising new questions about the original sin of America’s Founding Fathers.

U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger appears before the Senate Appropriations Committee in Washington on April 15, 1975, to urge approval of President Gerald Ford's request for military and humanitarian aid to South Vietnam.

Welcome Back to Kissinger’s World

Neoconservatism has died, and liberal internationalism is discredited. Perhaps it’s time to return to the ideas of one of the last century’s greatest realists.

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How to Save Global Capitalism From Itself

Decentralizing decision-making can help left-behind regions get back on track.

Dan Saelinger illustration for Foreign Policy

Can Social Democrats Save the World (Again)?

Communism and democratic socialism won’t heal today’s political divisions. But social democracy—which helped ward off extremism following World War II—could.

A worker washes one of two M1A1 Abrams tanks that are loaded on rail cars at a rail yard in Washington on July 2.

It’s Trump’s Fourth of July Now

The president’s military parade only furthers his vision of a dumbed-down America that may no longer be up to the task of global leadership.

U.S. and British World War II veterans gather at the U.S. 1st Infantry Division memorial on a hill that overlooks Omaha Beach in Normandy to commemorate the World War II Allied D-Day invasion in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, on June 3.

D-Day’s Dying Legacy

The last survivors of the Normandy invasion—and history's worst war—are almost gone. How long will the international system they helped create survive them?

Students from Beijing University during a massive demonstration at Tiananmen Square on May 18, 1989, before they began a hunger strike as part of the pro-democracy protests against the Chinese government.

30 Years After Tiananmen: How the West Still Gets China Wrong

Washington once mistakenly thought the crackdown would be temporary. It was wrong then, just as it’s wrong about a new Cold War now.

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The 2020 Candidates Aren’t Talking About Foreign Policy. They Need to Start.

The United States caused many of the planet’s problems and can still unmake them—but only if its politicians face up to the challenge.

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