Events

North Korean War Orphans in Transnational Educational Exchange

August 27, 2014 // 2:00pm3:00pm
More than 100,000 children from both North and South Korea were orphaned during the Korean War. In 1953, the North Korean government dispatched 1,200 orphans to the People’s Republic of Poland to be educated at a boarding school transformed into an orphanage. The orphans were repatriated after six years, at the insistence of the North Korean government, as tensions between Pyongyang and its communist allies began to emerge. NKIDP Intern Intaek Hong examines the complicated process of how the orphans defined their identity based on their experience of interacting with their Polish teachers—who became like foster parents—and deploying their subjectivity in the process.

Researching the Middle East

June 10, 2014 // 2:00pm4:00pm
This panel will discuss the challenges of researching and writing on recent Middle East history.
Photo by Mona Youssef

The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames

May 22, 2014 // 3:00pm4:30pm
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kai Bird appears in a conversation with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss Bird's new biography, The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames. Robert Ames was the CIA officer who created the first clandestine contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization. He was among those killed in the April 1983 truck bomb attack that destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

FDR, the Jews, and the Holocaust: Resolving the Controversy

May 19, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Nearly seventy-five years after World War II, scholars hotly despite whether FDR was a hero of the Jews or a bystander or worse to the Nazi’s persecution and slaughter of Jews. In this talk Lichtman will draw upon the findings of his prize-winning book, FDR and the Jews (co-authored with Richard Breitman), to resolve the controversy. He will present a new portrait of a consummate politician— compassionate but also pragmatic—struggling with opposing priorities under perilous conditions.

Bankrupt: Detroit and the Future of Urban America

May 12, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Detroit is the largest American municipality to have declared bankruptcy. Leading urban historian Thomas Sugrue examines the roots of the city's fiscal crisis, its implications for urban finance, pensions, and the future of American cities, and examines the opportunities and obstacles that Detroit faces in its efforts to restructure its local government, redevelop its downtown and neighborhoods, and reorganize its troubled economy.
Webcast

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours that Ended the Cold War

May 08, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
In Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War, former arms control director Ken Adelman, gives readers a dramatic, first-hand account of the Reagan-Gorbachev summit -- the weekend that proved key to ending the Cold War. Based on now-declassified notes of Reagan’s secret bargaining with Gorbachev, and a front-row seat to Reykjavik and other key moments in Reagan’s presidency, Adelman gives an honest portrayal of the man at one of his finest and most challenging moments.

Covert Legions: U.S. Army Intelligence and the Defense of Europe, 1944-1949

May 05, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
As the Third Reich collapsed, Soviet forces moved deep into Central Europe, and the United States had to adjust rapidly to the new political landscape. The intelligence services of the U.S. Army assumed a key role in informing Washington national security policy toward Europe during this critical period. This presentation discusses the early Cold War operations of U.S. Army intelligence as it sought to apprehend war criminals, suppress Nazi subversion, contain communism, and monitor the Red Army.

Russia in East Asia: History, Migration, and Contemporary Policy

May 05, 2014 // 9:00am11:00am
This talk explores Russia’s ties with East Asia through the lens of migration and policy. Russia spans the Eurasian continent, yet its historic and present connections with East Asia are often forgotten. At the turn of the 20th century, thousands of Asian migrants arrived in the Russian Far East, spurring fears of a “yellow peril.” A century later, the recent influx of new Asian migrants to Russia has generated similar sentiments. The talk discusses Asian migration in the context of cross-regional attempts to strengthen trade ties and diplomatic relations in the 21st century.

Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptation, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War

April 28, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
James Graham Wilson takes a long view of the end of the Cold War, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to Operation Desert Storm. Wilson argues that adaptation, improvisation, and engagement by individuals in positions of power ended the specter of a nuclear holocaust. Eschewing the notion of a coherent grand strategy to end the Cold War, Wilson illuminates how leaders made choices and reacted to events they did not foresee.

America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East

April 21, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
The CIA has an almost diabolical reputation in the Arab world. Yet, in the early years of its existence, the 1940s and 1950s, the Agency was distinctly pro-Arab, lending its support to the leading Arab nationalist of the day, Gamal Nasser, and conducting an anti-Zionist publicity campaign at home in the U.S. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Hugh Wilford uncovers the world of early CIA “Arabism,” its origins, characteristic forms, and eventual demise.

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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 Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant