National Affairs: The Men Who Almost Made It

It was a year of retrenchment and reappraisal. In the midst of a worldwide recession, people learned how to make do with less and not to hope for too much more. While the lowering of expectations brought frustration and confusion, it also seemed to prompt a new realism. Sporadic acts of terrorism kept much of the world on edge, but steps were taken toward peace in significant areas. For the time being at least, moderation was in the air.

In this atmosphere, leaders did not so much lead as...

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