Arts and Literature

The Art of Conversation: dialogue at the Woodrow Wilson Center

When Robert McNamara co-authored Wilson’s Ghost, he intended the book as an apology—his “political last will and testament”—for misguided policies he had advanced in the Vietnam War. And when General Benjamin O. Davis Jr. led the fabled Tuskegee Airmen in the skies of Europe in World War II, he saw that as a second front in a war for dignity that black aviators were already fighting.

Race, Culture, and the Intellectuals 1940–1970

Toward the end of World War II, scholars and writers reeling from the politics of racism stressed the unity of humankind, but by the early 1970s, dominant voices proclaimed ongoing diversity—sometimes irreconcilable antagonism—among human cultures. To study this transition from universalism to cultural particularism, Richard King focuses on the arguments of major thinkers, movements, and traditions of thought, attempting to construct a map of the ideological positions that were staked out and an intellectual history of this transition.

Beyond Imagined Communities: Reading and Writing the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Latin America

How did the nationalisms of Latin America’s many countries—elaborated in everything from history and fiction to cookery—arise from their common backgrounds in the Spanish and Portuguese empires and their similar populations of mixed European, native, and African origins? Beyond Imagined Communities: Reading and Writing the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Latin America, discards one answer and provides a rich collection of others.

Entangled Evolutions: Media and Democratization in Eastern Europe

The revolutions of 1989 swept away Eastern Europe’s communist governments and created expectations on the part of many observers that post-communist media would lead the liberated societies in establishing and embracing democratic political cultures. Peter Gross finds that it was utopian to hold such expectations of the media in societies in transition.

Between the State and Islam

Until recently, the study of the Middle East has focused almost exclusively on Islam and on the regime, especially on its non-democratic aspects. It has done so at the expense of accounting fully for the forces of skepticism, liberty, and creativity that struggle against Islamic conformism and state hegemony.

In the Face of the Facts: Moral Inquiry in American Scholarship

Recently there has been a renewed interest in moral inquiry among American scholars in a variety of disciplines. This collection of accessible essays affords a view of the current state of moral inquiry in the American academy, and it offers fresh departures for ethically informed, interdisciplinary scholarship. Seeking neither to reduce values to facts nor facts to values, these essays aim to foster discussion about inquiry and moral judgment, and demonstrate that moral inquiry need not be either dispassionate and value-free or moralistic and preachy.

The Historical Imagination in Early Modern Britain: History, Rhetoric, and Fiction, 1500-1800

These essays by some of the most distinguished historians and literary scholars in the English-speaking world explore the overlap, interplay, and interaction between supposedly truthful history and fact-based fiction in British writing from the Tudor period to the Enlightenment. Despite the many theoretical questions posed, the discussions primarily focus on concrete works, including those of Thomas More, John Foxe, Thomas Hobbes, Adam Smith, and Edward Gibbon.

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