About the History and Public Policy Program

The Latest from the History and Public Policy Program

Book Talk: "Gulag Town, Company Town Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta"

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March 25, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
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. more

Rivalry and Alliance Politics in Cold War Latin America

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April 13, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
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. more

Murdering Patrice Lumumba

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March 30, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
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. more

Mourning Lincoln: Rethinking the Aftermath of the Civil War

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March 23, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
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. more

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

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March 16, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
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. more

Upcoming Events

Murdering Patrice Lumumba

March 30, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm

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