Early-Vreeland Lecture Looks at Middle East

The 2009 Barbara Early-Vreeland Lecture will be given by Kenneth Stein, the William E. Schatten professor of contemporary Middle Eastern history, political science and Israeli studies at Emory University, and director of the Emory Institute for the study of modern Israel. The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. April 29 in the Student Union Building Activities Room.

Stein’s presentation, “U.S. Policy in the Middle East: Learning from Successes and Failures in Forging an Arab-Israeli Peace,” is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Hillel, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

Stein is the author of numerous books and publications. Among them are Hebrew and English editions of “Heroic Diplomacy: Sadat, Kissinger, Carter, Begin and the Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace,” “Making Peace Among Arabs and Israelis: Lessons from Fifty Years of Negotiating Experience” and “The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939.” Additionally, he has written extensively on the modern Arab world, as well as, Palestinian and Israeli history. He served as the first director of the Carter Center from 1983-1986 and as the Middle East Fellow of the Carter Center from 1983-2006.

The lecture will examine the broad history of a vital and problematic aspect of United States foreign policy. Despite many administrations and changes in world events, since the end of World War II, U.S. policy toward the Middle East has showed remarkable stability. U.S. objectives have consistently assured the stability of moderate Arab states, ensured the flow of access to Middle Eastern oil and continued the development of a strategic relationship with Israel. In keeping with these objectives, since the June 1967 Middle East War, Washington has played a significant role in Arab-Israeli peace-seeking, peace-making and peace-keeping.

As the Obama administration considers its role in Arab-Israeli diplomacy, Stein addresses what lessons can be learned from Washington’s engagement from the presidency of Richard Nixon to that of George W. Bush.

In addition to the lecture, Stein will lead a breakfast discussion at 8 a.m. April 30 in the Student Union Building Georgian Room B speaking on “The Benefits and Liabilities of using Oral Interviews in Writing Contemporary History.” To join in the breakfast, RSVP to Daniel Mandell at dmandell@truman.edu.

The Early-Vreeland Lecture was established by Joseph Vreeland through the University Foundation in memory of his wife, who passed away at age 40. A 1973 Truman graduate, Barbara Early-Vreeland graduated magna cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in history and French.

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