November 19, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural, and Communications Organization (UNESCO) grew from seeds planted during World War II and enjoyed bipartisan Congressional support as it joined the UN family in the 1940s. But controversy overtook it; the United States withdrew by 1984. It re-entered nearly twenty years later, but objecting to the agency’s 2011 vote to admit the Palestinian Authority, it began extracting itself once again. Barring a political miracle, the United States will assume observer status by this time next year. What will be the consequences?
November 05, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty became successful substitutes for free media in the Soviet bloc during the Cold War. This seminar talk will draw on CIA and Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty archives to trace the history of their first two decades. It will address three questions: What was the evolving reason for CIA covert funding? What was the relationship between CIA and the Radios? Why did the Radios prove to be one of the most important and successful policy instruments of the United States during the Cold War?
October 29, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
What were the historical circumstances behind Joseph Conrad's history of the fin-de-siècle as a turning point in international history? In his novels Heart of Darkness (1899), Lord Jim (1900), Nostromo (1904), and The Secret Agent (1907)--each set on a different continent, each engaging with a different imperial power, each anchored in real-world incidents and in his own personal experience--Conrad anticipated some of the defining themes of the twentieth century.
October 22, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Surveying Europe’s welfare traditions since 1500, in this seminar session Tom Adams will discuss characteristics of the modern European welfare state, many rooted in long-held values and centuries of experience. Profound social changes have repeatedly challenged communities to re-examine and reshape institutions and practices. The diversity of arrangements across Europe has contributed to an ongoing exchange of observation, experiment, and aspiration – in short, to reform without end.
October 15, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
America began as a coastal country, and, after a century of identifying with its heartland, is now returning to the sea demographically, economically, and culturally. Today, more of us live on coasts, but few know how to live with them in a sustainable manner. Coastal futures depend on the recovery of the oldest form of intelligent human life, homo littoralis. In this talk John Gillis will explore the ways humans have shaped shores and how shores have shaped humanity.
October 15, 2012 // 1:00pm — 2:30pm
In October the world will observe the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world came closest to nuclear war. In this Wilson Center National Conversation, panelists will discuss the Cuban Missile Crisis and the lessons that it holds in the context of the upcoming US presidential election.
October 01, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Steven Ross challenges the commonly held belief that Hollywood has always been a bastion of liberalism. The real story, he argues, is far more complicated. First, Hollywood has a longer history of conservatism than liberalism. Second, and most surprising, while the Hollywood Left was usually more vocal and visible, the Right had a greater impact on American political life, capturing a senate seat (Murphy), a governorship (Schwarzenegger), and the ultimate achievement, the Presidency (Reagan).
September 24, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Fifty years ago, the world spent thirteen days transfixed as the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. engaged in a contest of wills over placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Svetlana Savranskaya will discuss behind-the-scenes maneuvers by Soviet second-in-command Anastas Mikoyan, revealing that the crisis lasted into November and involved plans by the U.S.S.R. to leave tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba, foiled not by U.S. resolve, but by Fidel Castro’s own actions.
September 17, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
The Cold War was an overarching reality for American presidents from Truman to George H.W. Bush. In fact, prosecuting the Cold War posed a profound dilemma for all presidents, but especially for Dwight D. Eisenhower. Wm. M. McClenahan, Jr. and Wm. H. Becker argue that economic policy was second only to national security in Ike’s mind. How was the United States to engage in the Cold War without undermining American political democracy and a market economy? Preserving the American way of life was to Eisenhower the preeminent objective of the Cold War.
September 10, 2012 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
The defeat of Egypt and Syria in the 1967 is often described as a deathblow to pan-Arabism, and it did indeed gravely undermine the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Egyptians, Syrians and Palestinians had in fact already begun to shift towards narrower nation-state nationalism even before the 1967 war, which merely confirmed this reorientation.