Book Discussion on The End of the Old Order
Jul 20, 2006
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Frederick Kagan and William Kristol discussed the topic, “The View from a Rogue State: What Napoleon Can Tell Us about Dealing with Iran.” They demonstrated how an historical study can shed light on a contemporary .. Read More
Frederick Kagan and William Kristol discussed the topic, “The View from a Rogue State: What Napoleon Can Tell Us about Dealing with Iran.” They demonstrated how an historical study can shed light on a contemporary concern as they discussed how Napoleon’s reign could be used to teach America how to interact with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mr. Kagan is the author of The End of the Old Order: Napoleon and Europe, 1801-1805, the first book in his multivolume series on Napoleon published by Perseus Books Group. Mr. Kagan argued that Napoleon, idolized by many for his military successes and domestic reforms, had also been accused of carrying out a “criminal” foreign policy and blamed for the decade of wars that marked his reign. From his perspective, however, all of his aggressions were appropriate responses to an unjust international system designed by and run for the benefit Great Britain. He always expected the other states of Europe to support his struggle against Britain. Napoleon’s skewed sense of international justice spurred him to aggression and ultimately led to his defeat. Mr. Kagan argued that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has embraced this role for Iran, but he is merely the latest in a long line of leaders to attempt to revamp the international system. Both men responded to audience members' questions.