Events

The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security

February 23, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
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.

Nuclear Bargains Reviewed

February 13, 2015 // 1:00pm2:30pm
Or (Ori) Rabinowitz, PhD, author of Bargaining on Nuclear Tests discussed her research in the context of the looming dead-line for the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 on the future of Iran’s nuclear program.

Colonel House: A Biography of Woodrow Wilson's Silent Partner

February 09, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
In this seminar biography, Charles E. Neu details the life of "Colonel" House, a Texas landowner who rose to become one of the century's greatest political operators. In 191l House met Woodrow Wilson, and almost immediately the two formed one of the most famous friendships in American political history.

Poland's War on Radio Free Europe

February 02, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
For the Soviet bloc, the struggle against foreign radio was one of the principal fronts in the Cold War. Poland was at the fore-front of this war, relentlessly conducting, since the early 1950s until the collapse of the Communism, political, propaganda and intelligence operations against Radio Free Europe, regarded as the most dangerous enemy among “centers of foreign ideological subversion.” Poland`s War on Radio Free Europe, 1950-1989 is the first book in English to use the unique documents of Communist foreign intelligence at length.

Book Talk: "US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy: Evolution of an Incidental Superpower"

January 30, 2015 // 10:00am11:30am
Does the United States have a plan for how it hopes to achieve its objectives on the global stage? Or is its position in the world an accident of history? Perhaps it is better to understand the United States as an incidental superpower—responding and adjusting to changes in the international system. If that is the case, given the instability and flux of current events, what might the future pattern of U.S. foreign and defense policy look like?

CANCELLED - Bookmen at War: Libraries, Intelligence, and Cultural Policy in World War II

January 26, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
***Due to snow in the weather forecast, this week's Washington History Seminar has been cancelled.*** The Monuments Men have been justly celebrated for their rescue of art treasures in World War II. The focus on individual heroism, however, obscures the larger impact of the war on modern policies and practices toward information, knowledge, and culture. Kathy Peiss explores the role of librarians, collectors, and intelligence agents to explain why and how books mattered in a time of conflict and devastation.

Relentless Reformer: Josephine Roche and the Persistence of Progressivism in Twentieth-Century America

January 12, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Josephine Roche, as the second-highest-ranking woman in the New Deal government, generated the conversation that Americans are still having about the federal role in health care. In analyzing Roche’s astonishing life story, which included stints as a vice cop in the 1910s and director of the UMWA’s Welfare and Retirement Fund in the 1960s, Robyn Muncy demonstrates that political commitments born in the earliest twentieth century produced not only the New Deal, as other historians have argued, but also survived to ignite and shape the Great Society.

Modern Times in North Korea: Scenes from its Founding Years, 1945-1950

December 15, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
North Korea is often portrayed in mainstream media as a backward place, a Stalinist relic without a history worth knowing. But during its founding years (1945-1950), North Korea experienced a radical social revolution when everyday life became the primary site of political struggle, including quite deliberately a feminist agenda. With historical comparisons to revolutions in the early 20th century, Suzy Kim introduces her recent book through rarely seen archival photos, situating the North Korean revolution within the broader history of modernity.

Human Rights Before Carter

December 08, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Underlying much of the writing on United States foreign relations is the conviction that human rights were of limited consequence in policymaking during the 1960s and the early 1970s. Snyder's current research, however, shows that efforts to emphasize human rights began in the 1960s, driven by nonstate and lower-level actors and facilitating the issue’s later prominence due to the development of the networks and tactics critical to greater institutionalization of human rights in these years.

Waking from the Dream: the Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King

December 01, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Exaggerated accounts of urban violence after Martin Luther King’s assassination, David Chappell will argue, have long obscured national reactions of far greater significance. Most important was the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which had been hopelessly stalled in Congress since 1966.

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Upcoming Events

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Charles Kraus // Program Associate
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant