Commentator Kevin Phillips To Speak September 24 at Amherst College

August 30, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Political commentator Kevin Phillips will speak to first-year students at Amherst College about “Your Generation and Politics” on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m. in Johnson Chapel. The annual Croxton Fund Lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are distributed first to first-year students and faculty teaching first-year seminars at Amherst College; the remaining tickets will be available to other Amherst students, faculty and the public on a first-come-first-served basis on Tuesday, Sept. 17, and Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College. There is a limit of two tickets to each person. Half the tickets will be distributed each day.

Phillips, editor of The American Political Report, columnist at the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal, and a regular commentator on National Public Radio, is the author most recently of Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002), among many other books.

A graduate of Colgate University, Phillips studied history and economic history at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and received his J.D. from the Harvard Law School. He worked in Washington, D.C., notably as an analyst of political and voting patterns for the Republican presidential campaign in 1968, an experience that informed his first book, The Emerging Republican Majority (1969), hailed by Newsweek as the “political bible of the Nixon era.”

In 1984, The New Republic wrote, “Kevin Phillips is just about the only writer who tries to understand the immediate political situation at the grassroots level and place it in some sort of larger social and historical context.” A decade later, the magazine described his eighth book, Arrogant Capital (1994), as “full of the interesting analogies across space and time that set (Phillips) apart from anybody who has written about American politics in recent years.” Time said of Arrogant Capital “Classic Phillips: In-depth analysis, grounded in American political history.”

History underpinned the analysis in Phillps’s influential The Politics of Rich and Poor (1990). The Boston Globe noted his argument that “the 1980’s parallel two earlier periods of American history; the Gilded Age of the late 19th century and the Roaring Twenties.” The New York Times Book Review remarked that “What is interesting and original about Mr. Phillips’ perspective is that he focuses... on the conservative anti-government periods of capitalist expansion.”

The Croxton Lecture Fund was created in 1988 by William M. Croxton ’36 in memory of his parents, Ruth L. and Hugh W. Croxton. Income from this fund is used to bring lecturers with substantial reputations to Amherst College for the purposes of educating Amherst students. A broad range of views will be represented by Croxton Lecturers.

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Ray A. Moore Looks at Japanese Constitution in New Book

August 30, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - In the recently released book Partners for Democracy: Crafting the New Japanese State under MacArthur ($45, 480 pp., Oxford University Press, New York 2002), Ray A. Moore, professor of history and Asian languages and civilization at Amherst College, details Japan's transformation from a defeated military power into a healthy constitutional democracy. Moore says that as we consider the wisdom of "nation building," in Afghanistan or perhaps in Iraq, we ignore at our peril the successful, if long and difficult, process that was the creation of postwar Japan.

Moore wrote Partners for Democracy with Donald L. Robinson, a professor of government and American studies at Smith College, with whom he also co-edited a CD-ROM, The Constitution of Japan: A Documentary History of its Framing and Adoption 1945-1947 (Princeton University Press, 1998).

Moore and Robinson show that Japan's affirmation of democracy was neither cynical nor merely tactical. Japan and the United States "represented in Tokyo by the headstrong and deeply conservative General Douglas MacArthur" worked out a genuine partnership, navigating skillfully among die-hard defenders of the emperor, Japanese communists and America's opinionated allies.

A member of the Amherst College faculty since 1965, Moore received his Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. degrees in Japanese studies and history from the University of Michigan. He helped create the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College and The Five College Center for East Asian Studies. Moore also served in the U.S. Army from 1948 until 1952, in east Asia during the Korean War after 1950.

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Joy Miller To Study Indigenous Cultural Identity in Peru on Fulbright Grant

August 14, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— J. Joy Miller, a 2002 graduate of Amherst College, has been awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship for postgraduate study overseas. Miller will study the nature of indigenous identity in Peru, and its connections to the state and popular culture. Miller is the daughter of Cathryn Ann Miller of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In her application, Miller wrote that Peru is “a nation in which “Indianness” is perceived as an inferior social condition rather than as an ethnic category. Yet the Peruvian government has at various points promoted indigenous culture as that which is authentically Peruvian.” Specifically, she points to the early 1970s, where “the Ministry of Education’s newly created National Institute of Culture was active in promoting the nueva canción movement, a popular music movement that spread throughout Latin America. Nueva Canción not only expressed outrage at the brutal political repression of the period, but drew from Andean indigenous tradition to advance a national and Pan-American cultural identity.”

Miller has experienced the “linkage between music and identity” both in her personal life and during her semester abroad in Argentina where she witnessed over 50,000 people celebrating the anniversary of a military coup. “Through their marching and the symbolism of song, these Argentine citizens were developing a new identity for their nation, a perception of themselves as people who would never again let fear prevent them from crying out against injustice,” she wrote. She hopes that resources in Peru will offer her “a unique chance to explore the ways that the use of popular musical culture to promote indigenous cultural identity has shaped the relationship between the Peruvian citizen and his state.”

Miller plans to research at the National Institute of Culture, among other government organizations, and hopes to work with Carlos Iván Degregori, the director of the Institute for Peruvian Studies.

A political science major, Miller wrote her senior honors thesis on “Contemporary Indigenous Movements in Ecuador and Peru: The Dynamics of Discrepancy,” and plans to pursue graduate studies in Cultural Policy and Latin American studies upon her return to the U.S. She was active in community service at Amherst, and volunteered as a tutor with the Cambodian Tutoring Program and Student Health Educator, in addition to working as a Peer Career Advisor.

Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, viewed scholarship as an alternative to armed conflict. Today the Fulbright Program, the federal government’s premier scholarship program, funded by an annual congressional appropriation and contributions from other participating countries, allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 100 nations.

Miller is one of seven Amherst seniors who received Fulbright grants this year.

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