Events

Luther’s Fortress: Martin Luther and His Reformation Under Siege

May 04, 2015 // 2:00pm3:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Center Senior Scholar and Historian James Reston, Jr's newest book "Luther's Fortress: Martin Luther and His Reformation Under Siege" describes a crucial but little-known episode in Martin Luther’s life and reveals its pivotal role in the history of Christianity. Drawing on Luther’s correspondence, notes, and other writings, Reston presents an earthy, gripping portrait of the Reformation’s architect during his time in excommunication.

Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy: China's Cold War and the People of the Tibetan Borderlands

April 27, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Lhasa leaving the People’s Republic of China with a crisis on its Tibetan frontier. Drawing upon never before seen Chinese sources, Sulmaan Khan tells, for the first time, the story of how non-state actors moving across the Tibetan borderlands exposed state weakness and caused the PRC to move from empire-lite to a harder, heavier imperial formation. That change transformed Chinese policy towards the third world and the Cold War.

2015 Ahtisaari Symposium: New Evidence and Perspectives on the Helsinki Accords

April 27, 2015 // 9:00am12:30pm
The Ahtisaari Symposium series, established at the Wilson Center in 2010 in honor of Nobel Laureate and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, provides a forum for discussion of historical and policy perspectives on vital European security issues. In cooperation with the University of Helsinki, the Wilson Center also hosts a scholarship program for Finnish professionals from the scholarly, media, business and public policy communities.
Webcast

Rethinking US International Broadcasting: A Conversation on Mission, Strategy, and Organization

April 22, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
By many accounts, U.S. international broadcasting’s mission is unclear, its attachment to U.S. foreign policy strategies tenuous, and its organizational structure ineffective. Many see the entire enterprise as broken. For a new assessment, “Reassessing U.S. International Broadcasting,” co-authors S. Enders Wimbush and Elizabeth M. Portale interviewed some 30 individuals with extensive experience in foreign policy strategy, international relations, international broadcasting, public diplomacy, and promotion of human rights and democracy. Join us in a discussion on the future of US international broadcasting.

The History Manifesto

April 20, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
How should historians speak truth to power - and why does it matter? Why is five hundred years better than five months or five years as a planning horizon? And why is history - especially long-term history - so essential to understanding the multiple pasts which gave rise to our conflicted present? The History Manifesto is a call to arms to historians and everyone interested in the role of history in contemporary society.

Rivalry and Alliance Politics in Cold War Latin America

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.

Murdering Patrice Lumumba

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.

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

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.

Mourning Lincoln: Rethinking the Aftermath of the Civil War

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.

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

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.

Pages

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
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Charles Kraus // Program Associate
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project