John Mueller - Dancing Wit

If you don’t think terrorism and Fred Astaire have something in common, think again. They have John Mueller.

Mueller holds the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies, is professor of political science at Ohio State University, where he teaches courses in international relations, and is director of OSU’s Dance Film Archives. Get the connection now?

His most recently published book, Overblown, dubbed by the New York Times as "accurate, timely and necessary," explores the over-exaggeration of the extent to which terrorism threatens the U.S. He also recently began his next book, Atomic Obsession, which tackles terrorism and nuclear weapons. Yet his book, Astaire Dancing, won the de la Torre Bueno prize, an annual award offered by the Society of Dance History Scholars for the best book in the field of dance studies, as the "most distinguished manuscript on dance."

With the ability to successfully pursue his academic interests in such a wide array of fields, Mueller might be considered somewhat of a genius himself. He’s scored two musicals and performed research in international politics, dance history, foreign and defense policy, terrorism and musical theater. Mueller came to OSU in 2000 from the University of Rochester where he worked since 1965. “My idea is that I routinely change jobs every 35 years,” he jests.

It’s that sharp wit combined with a wide range of intellect and fresh perspectives that has welcomed Mueller to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 20/20, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and British Journal of Political Science.

“I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been living in the academic arena that allows people to sort of go off in various directions, as opposed to working for a think tank,” Mueller says. “I enjoy it. It’s a really good racket, the college professor racket, because it gives you that freedom and flexibility.”