March 30, 2015 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
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.
March 25, 2015 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
What was the relationship between the Gulag and Soviet society? What was the legacy of Stalin's massive system of forced labor? This talk explored answers to these questions using the case of Vorkuta, one of the Soviet Union's most notorious prison camp complexes.
March 23, 2015 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Public responses to Lincoln’s assassination have been well chronicled, but Martha Hodes is the first to delve into personal and private responses—of African Americans and whites, Yankees and Confederates, soldiers and civilians—investigating the story of the nation’s first presidential assassination on a human scale. Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of the nation were at stake for everyone, whether they grieved or rejoiced when they heard the news.
March 16, 2015 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
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.
March 16, 2015 // 1:00pm — 2:00pm
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.
March 13, 2015 // 3:00pm — 5:00pm
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.
March 09, 2015 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
After the onset of the Cold War, fierce anticolonialism emanated solely out of the black left, which paid dearly for opposing U.S. imperial policy. Meanwhile African American liberals, such as the NAACP, turned their backs on Asians and Africans determined to be free, colluded with the Truman administration’s support of European empires, and received, in return a few pieces of civil rights tokens. Carol Anderson will speak about her latest book, "Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960."
March 02, 2015 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
How did the Republican Party—the progressive party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower—become the reactionary party of today? Over the one hundred and sixty years of their history, Republicans have swung repeatedly from championing the middle class to protecting the rich. Their story reveals the tensions inherent in America’s peculiar brand of government: how can a democracy promote individual economic opportunity at the same time it protects property?
February 26, 2015 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Bruce Hoffman speaks about his latest book, Anonymous Soldier: The Stuggle for Israel, 1917-1947, which examines the critical period in the establishment of Israel, chronicling three decades of growing anticolonial unrest that culminated in the end of British rule and the UN resolution to create two separate states.
February 23, 2015 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
For four decades Brent Scowcroft has exerted a quiet, continued, and sometimes great influence over the conduct of US national security policy. Drawing on his new biography, The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security, Bartholomew Sparrow discusses how Scowcroft rose to become national security advisor under presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush.