Cold War Events

Bursting the Plutonium Bubble: How Utopian Communities Made Dystopian Nuclear Landscapes

May 18, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Historian Kate Brown draws on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the extraordinary stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia – the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias – communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Brown shows that the plants' segregation of permanent and temporary workers and of nuclear and non-nuclear zones created a bubble of immunity, where dumps and accidents were glossed over and plant managers freely embezzled and polluted.

The Swastika Epidemic: Global Antisemitism and Human Rights Activism in the Cold War 1960s

May 11, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Antisemitism is on the rise today in Europe and around the world, but there is no consensus about how the global community should respond. In this talk, drawn from his forthcoming book, scholar James Loeffler offers a historical perspective on this debate by looking back on the first major episode of global antisemitic violence after World War II, the “Swastika Epidemic” of 1960.

The Reagan Era: From a "New Cold War" to the "Washington Consensus"

May 04, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
In "The Reagan Era," Doug Rossinow gives a full and rounded view of how the foreign policies of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush took America—through a sometimes chaotic path, one marked with war scares, troop deployments, indirect warfare, scandal, and diplomatic triumphs—to the edge of a new era of American predominance.

2015 Ahtisaari Symposium: New Evidence and Perspectives on the Helsinki Accords

April 27, 2015 // 9:00am12:30pm
Global Europe Program
The Ahtisaari Symposium series, established at the Wilson Center in 2010 in honor of Nobel Laureate and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, provides a forum for discussion of historical and policy perspectives on vital European security issues. In cooperation with the University of Helsinki, the Wilson Center also hosts a scholarship program for Finnish professionals from the scholarly, media, business and public policy communities.
Webcast

Rethinking US International Broadcasting: A Conversation on Mission, Strategy, and Organization

April 22, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
By many accounts, U.S. international broadcasting’s mission is unclear, its attachment to U.S. foreign policy strategies tenuous, and its organizational structure ineffective. Many see the entire enterprise as broken. For a new assessment, “Reassessing U.S. International Broadcasting,” co-authors S. Enders Wimbush and Elizabeth M. Portale interviewed some 30 individuals with extensive experience in foreign policy strategy, international relations, international broadcasting, public diplomacy, and promotion of human rights and democracy. Join us in a discussion on the future of US international broadcasting.

Rivalry and Alliance Politics in Cold War Latin America

April 13, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Rivalry and Alliance Politics in Cold War Latin America, the first systematic analysis of these conflicts among US allies, argues that bureaucratic interests, rather than international mistrust or diplomatic missteps, fueled protracted rivalry among allies. Author Christopher Darnton discusses four critical conflict-resolution initiatives between Argentina and Brazil from 1949 to 1980, based on research in both countries’ foreign ministry archives.

Murdering Patrice Lumumba

March 30, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
When Belgium relinquished control of the Belgian Congo in June 1960, a charismatic Patrice Lumumba became prime minister of the new Republic. Stability immediately broke down. The army mutinied, while Katanga Province seceded. Six months later Lumumba was murdered in Katanga; his undisputed rule as Congo’s first democratically elected leader had lasted ten weeks. Over fifty years later, the circumstances and symbolism of Lumumba’s assassination still troubled people around the world. Bruce Kuklick examines this defining event in postcolonial Africa. He reveals a tangled international political history in which many people—black and white, well-meaning and ruthless, African, European, and American—bear responsibility for the untimely death of a national dream.

Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana

March 16, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
From John F. Kennedy’s offering of an olive branch to Fidel Castro after the missile crisis, to Henry Kissinger’s top secret quest for normalization, to Barack Obama’s promise of a “new approach,” authors of "Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana" William LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh reveal a fifty-year record of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive.

Codename Nikolaus

March 16, 2015 // 1:00pm2:00pm
Cold War International History Project
Dr. Bodo Hechelhammer, chief historian of the BND, will deliver a lecture on the early years of the German intelligence service, introducing the American and German agents behind Germany’s Cold War spy operation.

"Empire" and "Invitations": Geir Lundestad’s Impact on Cold War Scholarship in Perspective

March 13, 2015 // 3:00pm5:00pm
History and Public Policy Program
Geir Lundestad has been the Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo and Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee since 1990, retiring at the end of 2014 as director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Geir has made an enormous scholarly contribution to the field of history and supported many scholarly endeavors in the social sciences through the Nobel Institute fellowship and symposia program inaugurated under his leadership. Please join us for a symposium honoring Professor Geir Lundestad at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

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