Hugh Hawkins Lecture 2016: Arne Westad

Arne Westad, S.T. Lee Professor of U.S.-Asia Relations, Harvard Kennedy School
Arne Westad: S.T. Lee Professor of U.S.-Asia Relations in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School

Worlds Apart: The Cold War in the 20th Century

For the fourteenth annual Hugh Hawkins Lecture, the History Department is honored to welcome Professor Arne Westad to Amherst. Thursday, September 29, 4:30 p.m., Paino Lecture Hall (107 Beneski)

Hugh Hawkins Lecture

Halsted Lounge Celebration & Fall Majors Meeting

Thursday, September 15
Halsted Lounge Celebration (Chapin 19):  3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Fall Majors Meeting (Chapin 101):  4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 15th brings History's Fall Majors meeting, where we review major requirements and department deadlines. Prior to the meeting, however, we'd like to invite everyone to celebrate our newly renovated Halsted Lounge, Chapin 19.  In consultation with History alums Becky Konijnenberg '16 and Matt Randolph '16, the History department has renovated the lounge to make it a much friendlier study and social space for our majors.  Please come celebrate (and eat) with us! 


RECEPTION: Steven Simon

Wednesday, September 21
4:30 p.m.
Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI), Frost Libary

Steven Simon is John J. McCloy ’16 Visiting Professor of History at Amherst College. Professor Simon has held a variety of positions in the U.S. State Department and in academe as a Middle Eastern policy advisor, consultant, and scholar; he is also widely published as both national commentator and book author.  He is a former director of the U.S. and Middle East offices of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and a former senior director for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs on the White House’s National Security Council. He is currently working on a new book, entitled The Long Goodbye: The U.S. and Middle East from the Islamic Revolution to the Arab Spring.  The History Department is delighted to welcome Steven Simon to Amherst.


14th Annual Hugh Hawkins Lecture: Arne Westad

“Worlds Apart: The Cold War in the 20th Century”

Arne Westad, S.T. Lee Professor of U.S.-Asia Relations, Harvard Kennedy School

Arne Westad
S.T. Lee Professor of U.S.-Asia Relations
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

Thursday, September 29, 2016
4:30 p.m.
Paino Lecture Hall (107 Beneski Hall)

The Department of History is delighted to welcome Professor Arne Westad to Amherst for our 14th annual Hugh Hawkins lecture.  Professor Westad "won the Bancroft Prize for The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times. The book, which has been translated into fifteen languages, also won a number of other awards.  Westad served as general editor for the three-volume Cambridge History of the Cold War, and is the author of  the Penguin History of the World (now in its 6th edition).  His most recent book, Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750, won the Asia Society’s book award for 2013" (Harvard profile).

Abstract: The Cold War dominated world affairs for almost half a century.  But its roots go even further back in time and its effects are still felt today.  In this lecture, I will discuss my new book on the Cold War, which tells the history of the global conflict from its inception up to the present.  It starts with the first worldwide economic crises, the radicalization of the labor movement, and the expansion of the United States and Russia as transcontinental great powers.  And its ends with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the multiple ways in which the Cold War determined American policy in the 21st century.

The Cold War was uniquely comprehensive, both because it was a total war (though without direct clashes between the Superpowers) and because of its global reach.  People everywhere felt they were affected by it.  From the slums of Soweto to Hollywood, Hanoi, and Hamburg, young men and women found causes for which they were willing to offer their careers and livelihoods, and sometimes their lives.  And the combined intensity of resilient ideologies and nuclear threats created opposing worlds, which operated according to different logics, but were still connected by the fear of war and destruction.

The new book is not just a history of ideological conflict and great power rise and fall.  It is also an account of how the Cold War influenced people’s lives and how the conflict created opportunities for some, but death and misery for others.  It ranges wide in terms of research, from Germany to Brazil to China and to South Africa, and shows how people’s dreams of one world united helped drive groups and countries apart – how the search for utopia created ceaseless conflict and merciless leaders.

The annual Hugh Hawkins Lecture honors Hugh D. Hawkins. Professor Hawkins was the Anson D. Moore Professor of History and American Studies upon his retirement from the faculty in 2000 after forty-three years of teaching at Amherst.  He was a distinguished scholar of American higher education, the American South, and of cultural and intellectual history.  In 1976 he was the principal architect of the first-year introduction to Liberal Studies curriculum and he helped build both the History and American Studies departments. 

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Last Updated:
7 Sept 2016 TLR

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