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Wilson Quarterly Releases New Fall Edition:

The Ends of History



WASHINGTON – The Fall 2020 issue of The Wilson Quarterly (The Ends of History) explores the power of historical memory in Russia, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, and the former Yugoslavia. It also offers the reflections of the Wilson Center’s 2020 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow – Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway – on the vexed legacy of President Woodrow Wilson on racial inequality.

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Editor Richard Byrne says: “Forgetting history can wreak havoc in a society. But distorted notions of the past can inflict just as much – if not more – damage to our politics and culture. Our new issue of The Wilson Quarterly grapples with how inextricably human values and good governance are woven into the fabric of our shared memory of events and personages.”

In this issue:

* “Russia’s Lost War” - Izabella Tabarovsky - Senior Program Associate at the Kennan Institute and head of its focus area on Historical Memory examines how the current Russian state has adopted the lead of the Soviet Union in erasing severely disabled veterans, women, and memories of Stalinist repression from its narrative of victory in World War II.

*“The Past’s Transformative Power”  - In a new essay, former Wilson Center Global Fellow and the director of Seton Hall University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Zheng Wang examines the course of the last eight years in China's political use of historical memory.

* “Reversing a Bloody Legacy” - Among the global responses to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 was a defacement of statues in Belgium of King Leopold II. Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja – eminent historian and professor of African and Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – points out in “Belgian rule was only the beginning of a tragedy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that continued for another 60 years.

* “Lightning Writing”  - In February, Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway gave a lecture at the Wilson Center that examined President Wilson’s racism – and how researchers and institutions such as Princeton University are revising the narrative to include this pernicious element of his legacy. An article in this issue offers excerpts of that address with Holloway’s more recent reflection after a period of racial reckoning in American in subsequent months.

* “Relentless Quest The war on drugs declared by Mexico in 2006 has created a new wave of forced disappearances of citizens. But the template for these tragedies was created in the so-called “Dirty War” of the 1970s waged by the government of that nation. Madeleine Wattenbarger reports from Mexico’s Pacific coast on the battle to keep the memory of those who vanished five decades ago alive.

* “Monuments and Memory” - Innovative and abstract commemorations of the Partisan victory over fascism in the former Yugoslavia can be found in every corner of a nation that imploded in a wave of nationalism in the 1990s. Does this astonishing public art still speak to us today? Noted Serbian author and editor Dušan Veličković gives readers a look inside what these spomenici represent with images of these startling works by Donald Niebyl– creator of the acclaimed Spomenik Database.

All Wilson Quarterly content is available online and free of charge, and is continually updated on the Wilson Quarterly website, with a variety of perspectives on a single theme published each quarter.



Notes to editors:


  1. The Wilson Quarterly, one of the nation’s premier journals since 1976, offers fresh takes, on-the-ground reporting, and thought-provoking perspectives through carefully curated articles and multimedia pieces. A unique narrative publication to emerge from the Washington think tank world, each issue takes a deep dive into a single topic or theme shaping our reality. The publication became digital-only in 2012. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Wilson Center.
  2. The Wilson Center provides a strictly nonpartisan space for the worlds of policymaking and scholarship to interact. By conducting relevant and timely research and promoting dialogue from all perspectives, it works to address the critical current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world.

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