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Timothy J. Lynch

Timothy J. Lynch

Timothy J. Lynch is Professor of American politics at the University of Melbourne. He is currently a Fulbright scholar at the University of Wyoming. His latest book is In the Shadow of the Cold War: American foreign policy from George Bush Sr. to Donald Trump (Cambridge University Press, 2020). 

Timothy J. Lynch reviews ‘The Forever War: America’s unending conflict with itself’ by Nick Bryant

July 2024, no. 466 20 June 2024
It was a young Abraham Lincoln’s prediction that the United States ‘must live through all time, or die by suicide’. Nick Bryant wants us to believe the latter is coming true. America has been popping pills from the very beginning. Now the fatal overdose is inevitable. This time, we are reaching an ‘extreme polarization … 250 years in the making … a second civil war’. Rather than the ... (read more)

Timothy J. Lynch on America post-Trump

January-February 2023, no. 450 26 December 2022
The United States is entering an important phase. By this time next year, with most presidential candidates declared, we will know whether the republic is post-Trump and returning to ‘normalcy’ or approaching peak-Trump and moving toward some sort of civil discord. I predict the former. The midterm elections in November 2022 revealed a nation grasping for the centre. The extremes of left and ... (read more)

Timothy J. Lynch reviews 'Diplomatic: A Washington memoir' by Joe Hockey with Leo Shanahan

June 2022, no. 443 23 May 2022
In the chaos that opened the Trump administration in 2017, foreign governments were looking for any and all insiders for information. Australia turned to Joe Hockey, who turned to golf. In this very readable account of the former treasurer’s four years in Washington (2016–20), Hockey tells us how he navigated ‘TRUMPAGEDDON’. This is a story replete with funny anecdotes and unsettling obser ... (read more)

Timothy J. Lynch reviews 'Landslide: The final days of the Trump presidency' by Michael Wolff and 'Peril' by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

January–February 2022, no. 439 20 December 2021
The Trump presidency (2017–21) has generated more books across its four years than most presidencies have across eight. It is ironic that an avowedly anti-intellectual president, who advertises his dislike of reading, has had such a profound impact on political literature. These two books – Landslide and Peril – will likely remain the most read of that growing collection. As their titles sug ... (read more)

Timothy J. Lynch reviews 'The Churchill Complex: The rise and fall of the special relationship' by Ian Buruma

March 2021, no. 429 22 February 2021
Because the United States was born in a revolution against Great Britain, the relationship between them, as the child decisively supplanted the parent, has remained key to world history for more than two centuries. Indeed, the ‘unspecialing’ of this relationship in recent decades, argues Ian Buruma, represents a psychological condition that British officials refuse to self-diagnose. He calls t ... (read more)

Timothy J. Lynch reviews 'A Promised Land' by Barack Obama

January–February 2021, no. 428 16 December 2020
Barack Obama has written the best presidential memoir since Ulysses S. Grant in 1885, and since Grant’s was mostly an account of his pre-presidential, Civil War generalship – written at speed, to stave off penury for his family, as he was dying of throat cancer – Obama’s lays some claim to being the greatest, at least so far. This first volume (of two) only reaches the third of his eight y ... (read more)

Timothy J. Lynch reviews 'Too Much and Never Enough' by Mary Trump, 'A Very Stable Genius' by Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig, and 'The Room Where It Happened' by John Bolton

October 2020, no. 425 24 September 2020
In year four of their respective terms, George W. Bush and Barack Obama enjoyed a mixed press. Some accounts lauded them, others were sceptical. The assessments were uniformly partisan. The titles of contemporary books reflected how Republicans backed Bush (he was ‘The Right Man’), Democrats Obama (for successfully ‘Bending History’). Donald Trump, on the other hand, stands as one of the m ... (read more)