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Nuechterlein, Donald E. 1925- (Donald Edwin Nuechterlein)

Nuechterlein, Donald E. 1925- (Donald Edwin Nuechterlein)


Born June 20, 1925, in Saginaw, MI; son of Edwin William and Laura Anna Nuechterlein; married Mildred Virginia Usak, 1948; children: Jan, Jill, Jeffrey, Jonathan. Education: University of Michigan, A.B., 1948, M.A., 1949, Ph.D., 1959; attended University of Copenhagen, 1949-50, and Oxford University, 1950. Hobbies and other interests: Sports, travel, music.


Home—Albemarle County, VA.


U.S. Government, assistant reports officer in Berlin, Germany, 1946-47; U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, research analyst, 1952-54; U.S. Information Service, press attache, U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik, Iceland, 1954-56, desk officer in Washington, DC, 1957-60, cultural attache, U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, 1960-63; U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, DC, senior staff officer, 1964-68; U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Charlottesville, VA, professor of international relations, Federal Executive Institute, 1968-88. George Washington University, associate lecturer, 1966-68; University of Virginia, senior lecturer, 1969—, adjunct professor of politics, 2007—; University College of Wales, Fulbright-Hayes Lecturer, 1975-76. Has also taught at Queen's University and University of Kaiserslautern; visiting member at St. Antony's College; research fellow at the Australian National University. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1943-46. U.S. Naval Reserve, 1946-68; retired as lieutenant commander.


Committee on Foreign Relations, Military Officers' Association, Albemarle County Rotary Club.


Rockefeller Foundation fellow, 1963-64.


God's Own Country and Mine, Nyt Nordisk, 1951.

Iceland: Reluctant Ally, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1961, reprinted, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1975.

Thailand and the Struggle for Southeast Asia, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1965.

U.S. National Interests in a Changing World, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 1973.

National Interests and Presidential Leadership: The Setting of Priorities, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1978.

(Coauthor) Inside the Bureaucracy: The View from the Assistant Secretary's Desk, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1978.

America Overcommitted: United States National Interests in the 1980s, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 1985.

America Recommitted: United States National Interests in a Restructured World, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 1991, 2nd edition published as America Recommitted: A Superpower Assesses Its Role in a Turbulent World, 2001.

A Cold War Odyssey (novel), University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 1997.

Defiant Superpower: The New American Hegemony, Potomac Books (Washington, DC), 2005.

Also author (with Thomas P. Murphy and Ronald J. Stupak), of The President's Program Directors, the Assistant Secretaries: A Symposium, U.S. Civil Service Commission, Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia, December 8-9, 1976, U.S. Civil Service Commission, Federal Executive Institute (Charlottesville, VA), 1977.


Donald E. Nuechterlein is a retired United States diplomat and official who has authored several books on his topic of expertise, the United States government. Nuechterlein has also written an autobiographical novel, A Cold War Odyssey. His most popular and widely reviewed work, however, is Defiant Superpower: The New American Hegemony. In this volume, Nuechterlein explores American foreign policy since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The attacks brought about a marked change in American foreign policy as it had been up to that date. Rather than identify America's actions as empire-building, the author sees them as seeking hegemony, or dominance, over world affairs. Nuechterlein's book gives an overview of how the United States attempted to establish hegemony up until 9/11, and how those efforts were altered afterward. The author also shows the drawbacks and the benefits of such a foreign policy.

Military Review contributor Timothy R. Reese felt that "while Nuechterlein works hard to present a balanced critique, he may have tried too hard." Indeed, Reese commented that Defiant Superpower "is neither judgmental nor prescriptive." On the other hand, Reese did applaud the author's "analysis of the decision to attack Iraq." A more positive assessment of the book came from a critic writing in the Midwest Book Review, who noted Nuechterlein's "insights" and stated that the book is "perfect for classroom discussion."



Library Journal, September 15, 1997, Edward Goedeken, review of A Cold War Odyssey, p. 91.

Midwest Book Review August 20007, review of Defiant Superpower: The New American Hegemony.

Military Review, March 1, 2006, Timothy R. Reese, review of Defiant Superpower, p. 113.

Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2005, review of Defiant Superpower; May 1, 2007, review of Defiant Superpower.


Donald E. Nuechterlein Home Page, (June 2, 2008).

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