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Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

New conversations every other Wednesday. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Oct 5, 2022

A leading expert in foreign policy, Walter Russell Mead believes his lack of a PhD—and interest in actually going places—has helped him avoid academic silos and institutional groupthink that’s rendered the field ineffective for decades. Mead’s latest book, which explores the American-Israeli relationship, is characteristically wide-ranging and multidisciplinary, resulting in
“less a history of U.S.-Israel policy than a sweeping and masterfully told history of U.S. foreign policy in general”, according to a New York Times review.

He joined Tyler to discuss how the decline of American religiosity has influenced US foreign policy, which American presidents best and least understood the Middle East, the shrewd reasons Stalin supported Israel, the Saudi secret to political stability, the fate of Pakistan, the most likely scenario for China moving on Taiwan, the gun pointed at the head of German business, the US’s “murderous fetishization of ideology over reality” in Sub-Saharan Africa, the inherent weakness in having a foreign policy establishment dominated by academics, what he learned from attending the Groton School, and much more.

Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video.

Recorded August 31st, 2022

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