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Expe rts used to be the people that we turned to for a measured response to the sound and fury of newspapers. But on more and more issues—among them climate change and the financial crisis—the experts now seem more apocalyptic than the commentators. Certainly, anyone attending a conference of international relations academics in recent years hoping for a balanced view of George W Bush’s foreign policy is almost certain to have come away disappointed. Our own coverage of Bush’s presidency over the past eight years has mainly reflected that critical consensus. But as a parting gift to the 43rd president,…

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