September 20, 2011 "Politics of Nixon and Obama" Lecture, Sept. 29

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-7678

Klaus Larres, a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, will examine the political, military and monetary turmoil of the 1970s and draw possible lessons for today’s current affairs.

The lecture titled “Imperial and Financial Overstretch: The Politics of Nixon and Obama -- Lessons to be Learned?” will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

According to Larres, the 1970s, like today, were characterized by controversial military engagements, deep political divisions and severe financial disruptions. Larres will describe the Nixon/Kissinger approach to overcoming U.S. “decline” in an increasingly multilateral world and analyze whether this approach is still relevant for the current administration.

The talk is the culmination of Larres’s research at the Kluge Center, where he studied the contrasts between Nixon’s approach of hegemony, unilateralism and power politics and Obama’s approach of cooperation, multilateralism and pragmatism.

The lecture will be introduced by Ambassador Christian Prosl of the Republic of Austria, and concluding comments will be offered by David P. Calleo, Dean Acheson Professor and director of the European Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington, D.C.

Larres is also a former Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Kluge Center. He has written widely on Cold War and post-Cold War international affairs. He is a visiting professor and senior research fellow at SAIS and a professor of history and international affairs at the University of Ulster in the United Kingdom. His most recent book, “The United States and the Unity of Europe,” is to be published by Yale University Press in 2013.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit


PR 11-173
ISSN 0731-3527