Green Institute / GlobalPolicy 360 Research Fellow – Roger Morris


Roger Morris is the author of several critically acclaimed books on American politics, including Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician, 1913-1952 (Holt, 1990), winner of the National Book Award Silver Medal, finalist for the National Critics Circle Award in Biography, and a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year," and Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America (Holt, 1996), a highly-praised and instant best-seller on the New York Times and other lists for some 14 weeks, as well as another Times “Notable Book.” More recently, he is the co-author with Sally Denton of the controversial and widely celebrated The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America (Alfred Knopf, 2001), a history of the city as it silhouettes American corruption nationwide and internationally, hailed by The Los Angeles Times as "one of the most important non-fiction books published in the U.S. in a half-century," by the New York Times Book Review as "magisterial" and a “Notable Book of 2001,” and the subject of an Arts & Entertainment Documentary. (Review excerpts attached.)

Growing out of a commission from Harper’s following September 11th, he is completing for Knopf Shadows of the Eagle, a history of U.S. covert policy in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and South Asia, to be published in 2007 and a major excerpt of which will appear in Harper’s. He is also at work for Knopf on a book contracted just before 9/11, Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and The Legacy of Cold War, a parallel history of the inner politics of the United States and the Soviet Union, 1917-2000, and a major reinterpretation of their competition and its impact on twenty-first-century global issues.

His other books include The Reader's Companion to the American Presidency (Houghton-Mifflin, 1999), Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (Harper-Collins, 1977), Haig: The General's Progress (Putnam's, 1982), and The Devil’s Butcher Shop: The New Mexico Prison Uprising (Franklin Watts, 1983 and University of New Mexico Press Paperbacks, 1984-present).

In 1999 he was a Lannan Foundation Literary Grantee, and was earlier named a Guggenheim Fellow as well as a Fellow of the Society of American Historians and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Among numerous honors and prizes, he has twice won the Investigative Reporters and Editors' National Award for Distinguished Investigative Journalism, including IRE's coveted Gold Medal for "the finest investigative reporting across all media nationwide." His articles on national security for the Arizona Republic and columns and reporting on local affairs in New Mexico newspapers were nominated repeatedly for the Pulitzer Prize over the 1990s, and in 1994 he received the International Relations Council's Distinguished Award for International Understanding.

Born in 1938 and raised in the Midwest, he holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard, served in the United States Foreign Service, on the White House Staff, and on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, until resigning over the invasion of Cambodia. As an NSC official, he served as Deputy Director of Policy Planning as well as a senior officer for regional affairs, dealing with a wide variety of issues and areas from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia to Sino-Soviet affairs and the UN. As one of National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger's two-person Special Projects Staff, he was intimately involved in the first highly secret peace negotiations with North Vietnam to secure a U.S. withdrawal and an end to the war in Indochina prior to the Cambodian invasion in 1970. After resigning from the White House, he was an advisor on both foreign and domestic affairs in the U.S. Senate, and co-authored two news-making foundation-published books on human rights and humanitarian relief, Passing By (1973), a seminal work on the communal genocide in Burundi-Rwanda, and Disaster in the Desert (1974), an equally pioneering study of the failures of international relief programs, before turning to independent writing full time in 1975. He has taught at Harvard, the City University of New York and the University of New Mexico, lectured on campuses throughout the U.S., been a Ford Foundation Fellow in Soviet Affairs at the British Museum and a Fellow of the Russian Research Center at Harvard, and for an academic year was an official Exchange Scholar at Moscow State University in the then-USSR, where he was the first American to study at an institute of the Academy of Sciences.

He was Contributing Editor to The New Republic from 1975 to 1982, has written on politics and global affairs for Harper’s The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mail of Canada, The Columbia Journalism Review and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as well as feature articles in Architectural Digest and other periodicals. In the 1990s he syndicated columns, investigative reports and a radio commentary across New Mexico, and was host and co-producer of a weekly public affairs program and numerous specials for public television in Albuquerque-Santa Fe. He has been elected to the national boards of Common Cause, OXFAM America and the National Council for International Visitors. He currently lives in Seattle, where he lectures in the University of Washington Honors Program, and is completing his forthcoming books.

 

At the end of February, 2008, Roger Morris left the Green Institute for other challenges.

Roger brought decades of experience to the Green Institute, from peace negotiation work in Paris during the Vietnam war and his subsequent departure from the National Security Council in protest over the secret and disastrous bombing of Cambodia -- to his award-winning books and histories of the Nixon and Clinton administrations, the Kissinger legacy, US policy and the Mideast, the cost of the Imperium and the dire consequences we face at home and abroad ...

During his time with us he uniquely brought to light a perspective to prevailing neo-conservative and neo-liberal dominance, confronting and casting light on issues at the forefront of our nation's disordered foreign policy.

A model for independent, green thought on the big questions, geo-political, -environmental and -economic challenges, Roger envisions how we can move beyond traditional policies with creative responses, principled idealism and a realism that looks to a real democracy in the United States, a policy driven from the ground up.

He will be profoundly missed by the Green Institute and GP360 but will continue to lend his perspective to the great debate that must take place now by the American people and the new administration if we are to bring war or peace to the people and the planet.