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U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy at the White House on Oct. 1, 1962 during the buildup of tensions that became the Cuban Missile Crisis.


- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Applying Lessons of History to Today's Choices and Challenges

| Fall/Winter 2016-2017

It is sometimes said that some Americans live in “the United States of Amnesia.” Less widely recognized is how many American policymakers live there, too. To address this deficit, the Belfer Center has launched an Applied History Project designed to revitalize applied history both in universities and in policymaking.

U.S. President John F. Kennedy, right, confers with his brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy at the White House on Oct. 1, 1962 during the buildup of military tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that became the Cuban missile crisis.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

Why the President Needs a Council of Historians

| September 2016

We urge the next president to establish a White House Council of Historical Advisers. Historians made similar recommendations to Presidents Carter and Reagan during their administrations, but nothing ever came of these proposals. Operationally, the Council of Historical Advisers would mirror the Council of Economic Advisers, established after World War II. A chair and two additional members would be appointed by the president to full-time positions, and respond to assignments from him or her. They would be supported by a small professional staff and would be part of the Executive Office of the President.