Walter Moss

Walter G. Moss is a professor emeritus of history at Eastern Michigan University. His most recent book is An Age of Progress?: Clashing Twentieth-Century Global Forces (2008). For a list of all his recent books and online publications, including many on Russian history and culture, go here:

About Walter G. Moss

Walter G. Moss is a professor emeritus of history at Eastern Michigan University. His most recent book is An Age of Progress?: Clashing Twentieth-Century Global Forces (2008). For a list of all his recent books and online publications, including many on Russian history and culture, go here:

Where Is the Passion for Peace?

Ukraine Peace Talks

Walter Moss: Today, as conflicts and bloodshed occur in Ukraine (and Gaza, Syria, and elsewhere), we wonder why in the past century we have advanced so little in our ability to prevent such senseless wars.

Learning from the Past: KAL 007 and Malaysia Airlines 17

Malaysia Airliner Shot Down

Walter Moss: Gorbachev and Reagan found a way to end the Cold War. Presidents Putin and Obama need to follow their example.

What the Present Chaos in Iraq Should Teach Us

What Iraq Should Teach Us

Walter Moss: Trying to figure out exactly what the United States should do in international situations is often complex and difficult, and we average citizens without expertise need to be sufficiently humble.

What New US-Russia Relationship Could Look Like

Russia US Relations

Walter Moss: A new Russia policy is necessary not only because of the present tensions surrounding Russian-Ukrainian relations—important as they are—and because our adversarial relationship is hurting us in many ways , but also because our relations with Russia remains vital to our global interests.

Aging: Myths, Reality, and Nonsense

Myths about Aging

Walter Moss: We are not doing anyone—ourselves or members of younger generations—any good by equating old with bad and young with good. Every age has its plusses and minuses and should be embraced with all the joy and aliveness we can muster.

How We Got It Wrong with Russia

Diplomacy with Russia

Walter Moss: Is it not now time for the USA, a country that prides itself on innovation, to come up with its own new-thinking foreign policy, at least in regard to Russia?

Bloggers, Citizens, Opinions, Expertise, and Afghanistan

More Opinions Than Expertise

Walter Moss: But if leaders’ lack of wisdom and humility can lead to errors, despite all the intelligence at their disposal, so too can our lack of these qualities lead us to undervalue expertise.

What’s Next? The Ukrainian Crisis 2.0

Ukrainian Crisis

Walter Moss: The top priority for many Ukrainians, west and east, is overcoming economic misery and political corruption and unresponsiveness to their problems. And Poroshenko has recognized that unemployment and poverty have exacerbated discontent in the east and elsewhere.

Politics and Humor: Reflections on Robert Gates’s Duty

Robert Gates

Walter Moss: “I think a sense of humor and a sense of the absurd reflects a balance and a perspective on the world that is very healthy. Of all the presidents that I worked for, there are only two who had no discernible sense of humor: Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. I rest my case.”

Russia and the U.S.: The Limits of Partnership

U.S. Relations with Russia

Walter Moss: The main stumbling block preventing closer ties has not been any bad personal chemistry, but the legacy of Cold-War and 1990s suspicions and resentments.

Whose Advice Should You Trust on Ukraine?

Who to Trust on Ukraine

Walter Moss: As with judging any foreign policy action, we citizens first need to know what’s going on. But as Shakespeare’s Hamlet said, “ay, there’s the rub!”

Are We Starting Another Cold War over Russian Actions in Ukraine?


Walter Moss: The most basic Ukrainian problem is not Russian interference in Ukrainian affairs—which no doubt exists—but the absence of a strong national consensus among Ukrainians. What strengthening may result from proposed constitutional reforms and a new presidential election scheduled for 25 May, provided they occur, is unknown.

20 Things You Need to Know to Understand What’s Happening in Ukraine


Walter Moss: The history of Ukrainian territory is extremely complex and involves not only ethnic Ukrainians, but others such as Jewish people. The focus here, however, is on the background of Ukrainian-Russian relations.

Why the Right Is Not Always Wrong

right not wrong

Walter Moss: One of the saddest realities of the last six years has been that with President Obama we had a president who wished to work in a pragmatic, bipartisan fashion with Republicans in order to further the common good, but they were too uncompromising to cooperate.

Global Warming, Waste, and Greed


Walter Moss: In keeping with our unrestrained consumptiveness, the commonly accepted basis of our economy is the supposed possibility of limitless growth, limitless wants, limitless wealth, limitless natural resources, limitless energy, and limitless debt.

The Folly of War: Europe 1914, Ukraine 2014

war in ukraine

Walter Moss: This year marks the centennial of the beginning of World War I. Some observers believe we humans are close to beginning another war—in Ukraine.

Duke Energy, Cigarettes, Pollution, Profits, and Philanthropy


Walter Moss: By 1907, thanks largely to Duke’s advertising and marketing efforts—in 1889 alone, he spent $800,000 on marketing—U. S. cigarette smoking began to take off, quadrupling in the last 15 years of the nineteenth century.

Crimea and the Dark Side of Self-Determination

Crimean Self-Determination

Walter Moss: If we are to avoid in our present century much of the bloodshed characteristic of the previous one, any such slogans, including self-determination, have to be constrained by a hierarchy of other values. Among them peace, empathy, and tolerance are not the least important.

Professors and Politics a la Wendell Berry


Wendell Berry Politics: If liberal professors had half the influence O’Reilly feared, we would be living in a more just world than we are.

Environmentalism and Why I’m a Vegetarian (Almost)


Vegetarian Health: What convinced me to cut back on eating red meat was when I realized the environmental consequences of consuming it.

Love in Films, Fiction, and Life


Love in Films: I sometimes think that in life we are meant to proceed by shrinking our egoism while broadening and intensifying our love.

What We Got Here Is a Failure to Imagine: The Economy and Environment, History and Happiness, Peace and Politics


Failure to Imagine: If we dare to imagine boldly and creatively enough, we private citizens can help create a more progressive economy.

Wendell Berry on Women and Feminism


Wendell Berry Feminism — The proper type of freedom to seek is the freedom to love, to enter into a loving, mutually-respecting relationship.

Capitalism Versus Democracy


Capitalism Versus Democracy — Democratic socialists have often claimed that democracy fits better with socialism than with capitalism.

A Progressive American Culture Is What We Need


Progressive Culture I envision would battle against our still dominant capitalist consumer culture.

Leo Tolstoy and Wendell Berry: Pacifists and Critics of Modern Life

berry plowing

Leo Tolstoy and Wendell Berry — Both their fiction and non-fiction is full of criticism of modern industrial life and ideas of progress.

California: Arriving, Leaving, Moving, and Staying


California Dreaming — Berry has consistently criticized those seekers always ready to take off in search of better economic opportunities.

Pope Francis: Christian Capitalist Criticism

Pope Francis

Walter Moss: “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly home­less person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” – Pope Francis

What Is Progress and Are We Progressing?


Are We Better Off — We need to ask ourselves whether on a global scale at the end of the twentieth century people were better off than at the beginning of it.

Wendell Berry’s Pacifism: Part II, 1970-2013


Walter Moss: In his 1968 anti-Vietnam-War speech Berry mentioned the claim that we are a Christian and a democratic country, but that he found “nothing in the Gospels or in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution to justify . . . our slaughter of women and children.”