Timothy J. NaftaliArchives
tags: Top Young Historians
Timothy J. Naftali, 45
Position: Director, Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives and Records Administration, July 2007- Current
Area of Research: American Government and Politics, Cold War, Foreign Policy, Intelligence and Espionage
Education: Ph.D., History, Harvard University, 1993
Major Publications: Nafatli is the author of George H. W. Bush, (New York: Times Books, 2007); Khrushchev's Cold War: The Inside Story of An American Adversary co-author with Aleksandr Fursenko, (New York: Norton, 2006); Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism, (New York: Basic Books, 2005); US Intelligence and the Nazis co-author with Richard Breitman, Norman Goda, and Robert Wolfe, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005); US Intelligence and the Nazis co-author with Richard Breitman, Norman Goda, and Robert Wolfe, (Washington, DC: National Archives Trust Fund, 2004); The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, Volume 1, ed., (New York: W.W. Norton, 2001); The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, Volume 2, ed., co-editor with Philip Zelikow, (New York: W. W. Norton, 2001; and "One Hell of a Gamble": Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-1964, co-author with Aleksandr Fursenko), New York: W.W. Norton, 1997.
Naftalu is also the author of numerous articles, book chapters and reviews which have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Contemporary Austrian Studies, The Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Diplomatic History, Journal of American History, and the popular media including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, among others.
Awards: Naftali is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature (with Aleksandr Fursenko), 2007;
Principal Investigator, "Why Terrorists Stop," Two-year grant from the Smith Richardson Foundation, 2006-Present;
Principal Investigator, Three-year grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, 2003-2006;
Sesquicentennial Fellowship, University of Virginia, 2003-2004;
Akira Iriye Prize for International History (with Aleksandr Fursenko), 1997-1998;
Olin Fellowship in National Security, International Security Studies, Yale University, 1996-1998;
Research Fellowship, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1996;
Charles Warren Fellowship for Studies in American History, Harvard University, 1995;
Fellowship in National Security, John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Harvard University, 1991-1993;
National Intelligence Study Center Prize for best student paper, 1992;
Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Security, (3 Semesters), 1990-91;
John Addison Porter Prize for best essay in American History by an upperclassman, Yale 1983.
Naftali is currently General Editor, Presidential Recordings Series, 2003 - Current;
Historical Consultant, Nazi War Crimes and Imperial Japanese Government Records Interagency Working Group, National Archives and U.S. Department of Justice, 1999- Current Naftali is formerly Director, Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records Administration, October 2006 - July 2007;
Associate Professor, General Faculty and the History Department, University of Virginia, 1998 - 2006;
Director, Presidential Recordings Program and Kremlin Decision-Making Project, The Miller Center of Public Affairs, 1999- 2006;
Instructor, Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre), 2003 - 2006;
Historical Consultant, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (9/11 Commission), 2003-2004;
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Yale University, 1996-1998;
Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Hawai'i, 1993-97.
Among my favorite anecdotes involves a weird and nerdy coincidence. In February 1984, not too long out of College, I made my first visit to what was then called the Public Record Office in Kew, outside London. As I awaited the train at the end of my day, I noticed that the evening newspapers carried the headline "Andropov dies." The Soviet leadership had reached a point where it was as decrepit as the Soviet economy. That was my last trip to the PRO for a little over a year.
My next visit came on March 10, 1985. Sure enough as I reached the train station to catch the tube home, I saw the headline of the newspaper lying on the platform: "Chernenko Dies." I don't know what possessed me, but I then burst into laughter that I know the other passengers found unsettling and distinctly disrespectful to the dead. Thereafter I used to kid that Gorbachev's friends were asking me never to return to the PRO. It would be mischievous to now claim that because I never returned to the PRO, the Cold War ended and, well, you know the rest. But I did go back to the PRO plenty of times and, of course, and fortunately Mr. Gorbachev is still with us.
By Timothy J. Naftali
About Timothy J. Naftali"Masterful.... Blind Spot is an excellent reminder of the value of unbiased scholarship in an environment of poisonous political partisanship." -- The New Republic review of "Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism"
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