Walter Russell Mead

Walter Russell Mead

Walter Russell Mead is the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, and the Distinguished Scholar in American Strategy and Statesmanship for the Hudson Institute. He previously served as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy for the Council on Foreign Relations. His works include God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World (2008), and he is the Global Views Columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

All Author Content

Author Articles

Author Podcasts

Author Videos

Day 4: The Hinge of Fate - Yule Blog - Holy Innocents’ Day
Day 4: The Hinge of Fate

Everybody wants to reduce Christmas to a Christmas card: we’d like this to be a pretty and sentimental tale. But today, the third day after the orgiastic opening of the presents beneath the tree, is also the day that the traditional liturgical calendar tries to slap us into serious reflection on the meaning of the event, jolting us out of our turkey comas and eggnog overdoses with an unforgettably grim story.

Day 3: Born of a What??? Yule Blog Virgin Mary
Day 3: Born of a What???

Conventional manger scenes don’t show it, but besides the ox, the ass, the sheep, and the camels, there was another animal in the room at Christmas: an elephant. And the elephant in the room was the idea that Jesus’ mother was a virgin when He was born.

Day 2: Rolling the Credits - Yule Blog
Day 2: Rolling the Credits

As we start to look at this whole Christmas phenomenon, it makes sense to begin with the basics. The first questions any sensible person asks about Christmas are pretty straightforward: What event is this holiday supposed to commemorate, and do we know that it actually happened?

Day 1: Christmas Gift!
Day 1: Christmas Gift!

The manger scene these days really is the face of Christmas for most people and, perhaps not surprisingly, it is one of the aspects of the season that keeps causing trouble.

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: 2020–21 Edition
The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: 2020–21 Edition

In the old days, people kept a Yule log burning during the holiday season. From now until January 6, I’ll be Yule-blogging: reflecting on Christmas in ways that I hope will make sense to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Ep. 59: Preview of the Yule Blog (Advent Special)

In this Advent Special of the Foreign Policy ProvCast, Mark Melton speaks with Walter Russell Mead about his annual Yule Blog series, which begins on Christmas Eve and runs through Epiphany on January 6.

The Roots of US Foreign Policy Today: The Historical Origins of Present Debates
The Roots of US Foreign Policy Today: The Historical Origins of Present Debates

The fact that Americans have shifted their focus back to domestic concerns isn’t abnormal or un-American. It is the predictable resurgence of the two domestically focused schools of the American foreign policy tradition.

Day 13: The Light at the End of the Yule Blog

Christmas is important to Christians because from their point of view the Baby Jesus is the meaning of Christmas, and the meaning of Christmas is the meaning of life.

Day 12: How Real is the Meaning?
Day 12: How Real is the Meaning?

History turned a corner with the birth of Jesus Christ, and while the written reports of that event don’t tell me everything I want to know, they do tell me everything I need. The Gospels occupy a kind of center point in human culture as a whole: products of a particular time and place, but comprehensible to all.

Day 11: Sitting in Darkness, Blogging the Light

If we leave religion out of our national conversation, we end up with a vapid conversation that doesn’t address the deepest realities that move most of the people in this country.