Video On Demand

Book Talk: The Great Rift

February 6, 2020 • 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST

A Conversation with James Mann on the history of Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, and 20 Years of American National Security Policy

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell emerged on the national scene more than thirty years ago, and it is easy to forget that they were once allies. The two men collaborated closely in the successful American wars in Panama and Iraq during the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Returning to government service under George W. Bush in 2001, they (and their respective allies within the administration) fell into deep antagonism over the role America should play in a world defined by terrorism, the invasion of Iraq, and debates about unilateralism. Why did the rift between the two respected statesmen emerge? And what does the broken partnership suggest about U.S. foreign policy?

Please join Seth Center and the Project on History and Strategy for a discussion with James Mann about his new book on the intertwined careers of Dick Cheney and Colin Powell. The Great Rift: Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and the Broken Friendship that Defined an Era  is a sweeping history of two statesmen whose rivalry and conflicting views of U.S. national security color our political debate to this day. In a wide-ranging, deeply researched, and dramatic narrative, James Mann explores each man’s biography and philosophical predispositions to show how and why this deep and permanent rupture occurred. Through dozens of original interviews and surprising revelations from presidential archives, he brings to life the very human story of how this influential friendship turned so sour and how the enmity of these two powerful men colored the way America acts in the world.

This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.

Seth Center

Author-in-Residence, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies