January 11, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.— Historians Andrew Bacevich and Ronald Steel will discuss “Contemporary Issues of American Empire” at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The discussion will be moderated by Cullen Murphy ’74, editor-at-large for Vanity Fair. The event is open to the public at no charge.

The word “empire” is back in fashion in characterizing America’s current role in the world. The question is being asked around the world, even in the U.S.: Is America the latest in a long line of dominant powers, or is America’s dominance unique?

This is the first in a series of three open discussions of timely issues—one on the American empire, another on immigration and a third on public education—being held at Amherst College in January.

Bacevich is the author of American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy (2004), The Imperial Tense: Problems and Prospects of American Empire (2003) and most recently The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005). A professor of international relations at Boston University and a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, Bacevich received his Ph.D. in American diplomatic history from Princeton University. His essays and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of scholarly and general interest publications, including The Wilson Quarterly, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, The American Conservative and The New Republic. His op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and USA Today, among other newspapers.

Ronald Steel is the author of many works that examine American relations with other nations, and particularly with Europe. Pax Americana (1967), The End of Alliance (1964) and Temptations of a Superpower (1995) analyze the forces that have governed American foreign relations since World War
II. Imperialists and Other Heroes (1971), Walter Lippmann and the American Century (1980) and In Love With Night: The American Romance with Robert Kennedy (2000) are biographical studies of key individuals in American society and politics. Steel’s primary field of interest is American foreign policy, and includes history and political science as well as sociology, psychology, economics and political anthropology.

Amherst’s Interterm Colloquia feature public talks on timely issues. Mexican-American journalist Richard Rodriguez and classicist and historian Victor Davis Hanson will consider immigration on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Public school advocate Wendy Puriefoy and educational theorist William Howell will take on public education on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Free and open to the public, each of these events is part of an Interterm Colloquium at Amherst College. New at the college this January, the Interterm Colloquia provide students with an opportunity to engage more deeply in interdisciplinary work while connecting intellectual theories and ideas to complex, real-world problems, and to explore pressing societal concerns in depth. Interterm at Amherst College is a three-week period during the January break when students are given the opportunity to take informal non-credit courses, work on a senior thesis, take part in an internship, participate in community service or take a course at one of the other Five College campuses.