Melvyn Paul Leffler (born May 31, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American  historian and educator, currently Edward Stettinius Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the  Bancroft Prize for his book A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration and the Cold War, and the American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Prize for his book For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War.
The son of businessman Louis and Mollie Leffler, he married historian Phyllis Koran on September 1, 1968; they have one daughter, Sarah Ann and one son, Elliot.
Leffler received a B.S. from
Cornell University in 1966, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1972.
Leffler taught at
Vanderbilt University as assistant professor in 1972-77, and associate professor of history in 1977-2002. He was chairman of the department of history and dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia in 1997-2001. In 1994 he was president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He was Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at the University of Oxford in 2002-2003. He currently teaches at the University of Virginia as a professor of history and is a scholar of the Miller Center.
Books he has authored or edited include:
Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism: U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, 1920-2015 (Princeton University Press, 2017); The Cambridge History of the Cold War (3 vols.; Cambridge University Press, 2010); and The Cold War: An International History (2nd ed.; Routledge, 2005).
In 2014, the University of Virginia gave him its Thomas Jefferson Award for excellence in scholarship. The Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations honored him in 2012 with its Laura and Norman Graebner Award for lifetime achievement and service.
Leffler has served on advisory committees to the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly concerning the declassification of documents..
. New York, NY: For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War Hill & Wang. 2007. ISBN . 978-0-809-09717-3
"The Beginning and the End: Time, Context, and the Cold War". In Olav Njølstad, ed., The Last Decade of the Cold War: From Conflict Escalation to Conflict Transformation. London & New York, NY: Frank Cass. 2004. pp. 23–49. ISBN . 978-0-7146-8539-7
"Bringing It Together: Parts and the Whole". In Odd Arne Westad, ed., Reviewing the Cold War: Approaches, Interpretations, Theory. London & Portland, OR: Frank Cass. 2000. pp. 43–63. ISBN . 978-0-714-65072-2
Paul Kennedy, William I. Hitchcock, eds. (2000). "American Grand Strategy from World War to Cold War 1940-1950". . Yale University Press. From war to peace: altered strategic landscapes in the twentieth century ISBN . 978-0-300-08010-0 CS1 maint: uses editors parameter ( link)
"Inside Enemy Archives: The Cold War Reopened", Foreign Affairs, July/August 1996
Eric Foner, ed. (1994). The Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953. Hill and Wang. ISBN . 978-0-8090-1574-0
Gordon Martel, ed. (1994). "The interpretative wars over the Cold War 1945-1960". . Routledge. American foreign relations reconsidered, 1890-1993 ISBN . 978-0-415-10476-0
Michael J. Hogan, Thomas G. Paterson, eds. (2004). "National Security". . Cambridge University Press. Explaining the history of American foreign relations ISBN . 978-0-521-54035-3 CS1 maint: uses editors parameter ( link) (2nd edition)
. Stanford University Press. 1992. A Preponderance of Power: National Security, The Truman Administration, and the Cold War ISBN . 978-0-8047-2218-6
Loyd E. Lee, eds. (1991). "Adherence to Agreements: Yalta and the Experiences of the Early Cold War". . M.E. Sharpe. World War II: crucible of the contemporary world: commentary and readings ISBN . 978-0-87332-732-9 CS1 maint: uses editors parameter ( link)
Ellis Wayne Hawley, ed. (1981). "Herbert Hoover, the "New Era," and American Foreign Policy 1921-1929". . University of Iowa Press. Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce: studies in New Era thought and practice ISBN . 978-0-87745-109-9 . University of North Carolina Press. 1979. The Elusive Quest: America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919-1933 ISBN . 978-0-8078-1333-1
"Capsule Reviews: For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War", Foreign Affairs, G. John Ikenberry, November/December 2007
"Capsule Reviews: A Preponderance Of Power: National Security, The Truman Administration, And The Cold War", Foreign Affairs, Gaddis Smith, Spring 1992
"Capsule Reviews: 1231 To Lead the World: After the Bush Doctrine", Foreign Affairs, Walter Russell Mead, November/December 2008 Appearances on C-SPAN