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History As It Happens

Oct 21, 2021

The death of the soldier-statesman Colin Powell threw into relief his remarkable public career and historic times, from his humble origins in the Bronx to his place in the halls of power at the transformative close of the Cold War era. When a major figure dies, historians have to weigh the person’s influence on events, or how events shaped the individual. They must also weigh accomplishments against failures. In this episode, historian Jeffrey Engel reflects on the legacy of a man who once was one of the most respected, admired, and trusted figures in American life. Powell's legacy, however, was marred by his false and misleading presentation to the United Nations in 2003 about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction -- weapons that did not exist.