Event Details

WACNHLive: The Western Alliance - Understanding the Past to Defeat Illiberalism Today

  • Wednesday, December 01, 2021
  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • www.wacnh.org

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Questions about the value and future of the Western Alliance between the United States and Europe abound. From the continued relevance of NATO, to the pivot to Asia, and beyond, it seems that bonds between these countries are fraying. In addition, countries are asking questions about the future of the global order, with a rising world power who does not share the belief in liberalism. Finally, Americans are turning inward and away from engagement in foreign policy, leading to many of the same challenges that pre-dated World War II.



Join the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire for a discussion with Ambassador David McKean, Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, about his two recent books: Watching Darkness Fall and Partners of First Resort. We will explore what lessons can we learn from through the eyes of top diplomats in the lead up to war. With authoritarianism on the rise around the world, liberal democracies need each other to support a free and open world. Insights into the direction of the Western Alliance will be vital to your understanding of where the world is headed.


About the Speaker



David McKean is a former United States Ambassador to Luxembourg.  From 2013-2016, he served as the director of policy planning in the Department of State. In 2012, he served as director of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.  He is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award and Superior Honor Award.

McKean spent two decades working in the United States Congress: serving as chief of staff to Senator John Kerry (1999-2008) and chief of staff to Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II (1993-1994).  He served as staff director for the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2009-2010, and minority staff director for the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (1998- 1999).

McKean is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, Duke University Law School, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

About the Book

Watching Darkness Fall will recount the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and the road to war from the perspective of four American diplomats in Europe who witnessed it firsthand: Joseph Kennedy, William Dodd, Breckinridge Long, and William Bullitt, who all served in key Western European capitals—London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Moscow—in the years prior to World War II. In many ways they were America’s first line of defense and they often communicated with the president directly, as Roosevelt's eyes and ears on the ground. Unfortunately, most of them underestimated the power and resolve of Adolf Hitler and Germany’s Third Reich.

Purchase Your Copy Here.

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