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

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.

Date & Time

Monday
Mar. 16, 2015
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

Authors William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh will talk about their new book chronicling the untold history of attempts at reconciliation between the United States and Cuba. 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,” LeoGrande and Kornbluh reveal a fifty-year record of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive.

Dr. William M. LeoGrande is Professor of Government and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Syracuse University. In the 1980s, he served on staff in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. He is the author of Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977-1992 (1998) and co-author of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana (2014), among other books. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, LeMonde Diplomatique, among others.

Peter Kornbluh, is a senior analyst at the National Security Archive where he directs the Archive’s Cuba Documentation Projects. From 1990-1999, he taught at Columbia University, as an adjunct assistant professor of international and public affairs. He is the author and editor of a number of National Security Archive books, including Archive document readers, “The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962,” “The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History,” and “Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba.” His most recent book is Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana (UNC Press, 2014), co-authored with William M. LeoGrande, which Foreign Affairs named a “best book of 2014.”

The Washington History Seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. See www.wilsoncenter.org/collection/washington-history-seminar for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.

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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

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