June 2016 Lecture Series

All lectures are free and open to the public. No reservations are needed.

Download a PDF of the June Lecture Series brochure.


All June lectures are held in the Abramson Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center at American University from 10:00-11:30 am. 


Tuesday, May 31 – Martin Baron
A Conversation with Martin Baron
The hero of the Oscar-winning Best Picture of the Year is Martin Baron, now the executive editor of The Washington Post.  From The Post's new offices on K Street, Baron directs coverage of Washington, the nation, and the world in a brutal business environment of competition and change.  On his watch, Baron has welcomed home a reporter extracted from an infamous Iranian prison and added three Pulitzer prizes to his previous seven. His broad experience in the trenches of many of the nation’s leading newspapers has shaped the man who has been called the best editor in America.  As journalists scramble to cope with a society that is already digital and increasingly mobile, his managing perspective includes this warning:  adapt or fail.
Martin “Marty” Baron became editor of The Washington Post in 2013 after having worked at the Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Boston Globe.  While editor of the Globe, Baron directed an investigation of a decades-long cover up of sexual abuse by priests by the Boston Archdiocese and the Catholic Church.  The work was the subject of the film, “Spotlight” which received an Oscar for Best Picture in 2016. He will be interviewed by OLLI member and 30-year veteran Post reporter and editor Judy Havemann.   

 Wednesday, June 1 – Jennifer Wiseman
A Dynamic Universe:  Greatest Discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope recently marked 25 years of discovery and continues to open new vistas to the universe.  Dr. Wiseman will highlight Hubble's greatest achievements, from tracking the dynamics of our solar system to detecting the most distant galaxies in the universe. The telescope is also helping scientists address the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter, and is even analyzing the atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system.  It is also an icon of human cooperation for scientific exploration, involving the support of scientists, engineers, astronauts, government leaders, and the public from around the world.  Hubble's discoveries have enabled a new rich understanding of how our dynamic universe has evolved from a sea of energy into galaxies, stars, and planets, at least one of which is teeming with life.
Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is an astrophysicist and serves as NASA's Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope at Goddard Space Flight Center.  She studies the formation of stars in our galaxy, and enjoys the beauty and intrigue of nature.

Thursday, June 2 – Evan Thomas
Being Nixon
Being Nixon gets past the stereotypes and tropes about Richard Nixon--the paranoid criminal mastermind and cartoon version of "Tricky Dick"--to understand what it was like to be Nixon. Noted presidential biographer Evan Thomas attempts to be empathetic without glossing over Nixon's many real flaws.  In his book, he looks closely at Nixon as a family man and explores the mystery of how someone who was almost pathologically shy at times became one of the most successful politicians and statesmen of the 20th century.  Thomas also examines how he destroyed himself.
Evan Thomas is a former writer and editor at Time and Newsweek and the author of nine books, including two New York Times bestsellers and biographies of Nixon, Eisenhower, and Robert Kennedy.  

Tuesday, June 7 – Marvin Kalb and Bernard Kalb
The Brothers Kalb: Here, There, and Everywhere
There are brothers, and then there are brothers.  These two, Bernard and Marvin, have been foreign correspondents for The New York Times and CBS News, covering the world for the past--heavens!--50/60-plus years.  From the Cold War and the Vietnam War to the Syrian civil war, from Nixon in China to Khrushchev in Moscow, from the dangerous adventures of Putin to a new Yalta agreement.  Fun and Games--the world through the personal prisms of two reporters who happen to be brothers.  What would their mother have said? 

 Wednesday, June 8 - Colin Goddard
From Tragedy to Triumph: A Survivor Story from Virginia Tech to the new Gun Violence Prevention Movement
Colin Goddard was shot four times during the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech and narrowly survived. After his physical recovery, Colin joined the movement of Americans fighting to improve US gun policy. His talk will take us through his harrowing experience at Virginia Tech, his advocacy work on the frontlines of the debate over gun laws, and how the new gun violence prevention movement is re-emerging as a winning political issue.
Colin Goddard is a Senior Policy Advocate at Everytown for Gun Safety in Washington, D.C. Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. 

Thursday, June 9 – Stephen Hess
America’s Political Dynasties from Adams to Clinton                                                                                         America was founded in rebellion against nobility and inherited status.  Yet from the start, dynastic families have been conspicuous in national politics: the Adamses, the Lodges, the Tafts, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, and today the Bushes and the Clintons. Presidential historian, Stephen Hess, offers a tour of the families that have loomed large over America’s history and those that have taken center stage in this year’s presidential race. The Constitution states that “no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” yet as Hess points out, it seems political nobility is as American as apple pie.
Stephen Hess, a leading authority on media and government in the US, is a senior fellow emeritus in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. He served on the White House staff during Eisenhower and Nixon presidencies, as advisor to Presidents Ford and Carter, and is a best-selling author. 

Tuesday, June 14 – Linda Pastan
A Life In and Out of Poetry
Linda Pastan, former Poet Laureate of Maryland, will reflect on her life as a poet, illustrating each phase of it with poems, old and new, and describing her childhood, schooling, and family life.  She will talk about how she abandoned poetry for ten years before embracing it again.  She will read from her latest book, Insomnia.
Linda Pastan's fourteenth book of poems, Insomnia, was published in October.  She is a former Poet Laureate of Maryland and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award.  In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

Wednesday, June 15 – Michelle Egan
Brexit or Bremain: The British Referendum, the Future of Europe, and the Implications for the US
Since the end of World War II, Europe’s gradual integration has yielded decades of peace and prosperity and the European Union has proved a significant success. However, the recent financial difficulties of the Eurozone, the flood of immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East, and the June 23rd British referendum on continued membership raise questions about the solidarity of European integration. Michelle Egan will examine the broad implications of the tensions that now threaten Europe’s 50-year-old relationship.
Michelle Egan is a Professor in the School of International Service at American University and author of the recent book, Single Markets: Economic Integration in Europe and the United States, which was awarded the Larry Neal Prize in EU Studies. She has spent the past year at the Wilson Center, where she is writing a new book on the free trade agreements between the US and EU.

Thursday, June 16 – Dennis Ross
Doomed to Succeed: US-Israel Relations from Truman to Obama
Presidential policy toward Israel has oscillated through warm spells under Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush, and cold snaps under Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Obama.  This history has hinged on personality clashes, unpredictable events, and the personal attitudes held by presidents. Dennis Ross wades into the long-term relationship between two countries tethered to one another out of shared self-interest and geopolitical necessity and yet with sometimes-conflicting senses of the way forward.
Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of the National Jewish Book Award-winning Doomed to Succeed: US-Israel Relations from Truman to Obama. He previously served as a senior Middle East adviser in the Obama administration, as President Clinton’s Envoy for Middle East Peace, and as the director of policy planning in President George HW Bush’s administration.

We thank the Lecture Committee and all those who suggested and contacted speakers: Ruth Darmstadter, Chuck Edson, Dave Freeman, Ken Guenther, Naomi Heller, Tina Fried Heller, Lynne Heneson, Jeanne Kent, Denise Liebowitz (Chair), Dorothy Marschak, Mary Fran Miklitsch, Stan Newman, Paul Piazza, Diane Renfroe, Richard Ringell, Barbara Rollinson, and Selma Rosenthal.

OLLI does not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed by the speakers in its series.

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