Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power, Malcolm Byrne

Reviewed by Seth Cantey

BUY

 

Three decades after the Ronald Reagan administration’s greatest foreign policy disaster, observers of Iran-Contra continue to be surprised at how little attention the scandal has received. This inattention can be explained, if not justified. After revelations that legally dubious intelligence operations had collided to provoke a constitutional crisis, censure of those involved was surprisingly light. Few on Capitol Hill were interested in the prospect of another presidential impeachment, and geopolitical developments such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the crackdown at Tiananmen Square, and the first Gulf War commanded the attention of policymakers and the public alike. Still, with the benefits of hindsight and document declassification, it is surprising that relatively little has been written to resurrect debate about Iran-Contra.

Malcolm Byrne is the right person to provoke that discussion. As deputy director of research at the National Security Archive at George Washington University and director of the Iran Documentation Project there, Byrne has followed the scandal since it broke. Now drawing on previously inaccessible documents, including the personal notes of Caspar Weinberger, Charles Hill, and George H. W. Bush, he paints a compelling picture of a scandal with Reagan at its center. The president may have been inattentive to the details of certai

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Presidential Power and Impeachment

American Political Institutions after Watergate--A Discussion
DEMETRIOS CARALEY, CHARLES V. HAMILTON, ALPHEUS T. MASON, ROBERT A. McCAUGHEY, NELSON W. POLSBY, JEFFREY L. PRESSMAN, ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER, JR., GEORGE L. SHERRY, AND TOM WICKER

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Extending the U.S. Umbrella and Increasing Chances of War   THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: EXTENDING THE U.S. UMBRELLA AND INCREASING CHANCES OF WAR

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

Big Challenges for the 2020 U.S. Census
November 14, 2019
New York, NY

Members of the Academy of Political Science are invited to attend this timely panel discussion on the 2020 census.

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS