October 11, 04

Vol. 20 , No. 03   

WordsWorth Society Lunch
LUNCH 12:00 p.m.

CMC's Founding Trustee Donald McKenna delighted in coming to the Athenaeum; and one of his favorite activities was attending the regular WordsWorth Society lunches. The Athenaeum is reviving the spirit of the WordsWorth Society by hosting a lunch to commemorate Donald McKenna's 97th birthday. Please join special guest Bruce McKenna, Donald's grandson, in exploring the joy of a rich vocahulary.

Bruce C. McKenna is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles who has written on subjects ranging from Saint Patrick to the rise of Adolf Hitler. He has been nominated for an Emmy and won the prestigious Writer's Guild Award for his work on Band of Brothers (2001), the acclaimed HBO miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. He is presently creating a new WW II miniseries for HBO, along with Spielberg and Hanks on the Marine Corps and aviators in the Pacific.

The only requirement for the lunch is that you bring along an interesting word that you have researched: history, derivation, meaning, and usage.

Western War in the Post-Modern Age

The Henry Salvatori Center and the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum present a special evening with classicist, military historian, and renowned author Victor Davis Hanson.

In his best-selling collection of essays, An Autumn of War: What America Learned from September 11 and the War on Terrorism (2002), and in his most recent book, Between War and Peace: Lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq (2004), Hanson examines the world's ongoing war on terrorism, from America to Iraq, from Europe to Israel, and beyond.

Hanson portrays an America making progress against Islamic fundamentalism but hampered by the self-hatred of elite academics at home and the cynical self-interest of allies abroad. He sees a new and urgent struggle of evil against good, one that can fail only if "we convince ourselves that our enemies fight because of something we, rather than they, did."

Whether in defense of Israel as a secular democracy, criticism of the United Nations, a plea to alter our alliance with Saudi Arabia, or a perception that postwar Iraq is reaching a dangerous tipping point, Hanson's arguments have the shock of candor and the fire of conviction.

Victor Davis Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and received his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University. He farmed full-time for five years before returning to academia in 1984 to initiate a classics program at California State University, Fresno, where he is currently a professor of classics.

Hanson is the author of over 170 articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history and essays on contemporary culture. He has written or edited thirteen books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1998), and The Western Way of War: Infantry Battles in Classical Greece (1989).

Tough for Whom? A Discussion of the California Three Strikes Law
LUNCH 11:45 a.m.
LECTURE 12:15 p.m.

The passage of California's "Three Strikes and You're Out" sentencing law in 1994 stands out as a pivotal point in the state's war on crime. Viewed as one of the most far-reaching of any such law in the nation, the California statute imposes minimum sentences of 25-years-to-life upon two-time offenders when they are convicted of any third felony.

Professor Jennifer Walsh of California State University, Los Angeles has done extensive research on the California Three-Strikes Law, concluding that it is misunderstood. In her manuscript titled Tough for Whom? How Prosecutors and Judges Use Their Discretion to Promote Justice Under the California Three-Strikes Law (2004), recently published in conjunction with The Henry Salvatori Center, Walsh addresses the debate surrounding the law. She argues that most offenders sentenced under the law committed serious offenses as their third strikes and that the law does not result in lengthy sentences for all eligible three-time recidivists. Only 5% (7,626) of California's prison population, she points out, is composed of three-strike offenders.

Walsh earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Claremont Graduate University and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics at California State University, Los Angeles. Walsh's appearance at the Athenaeum is part of the series Issues in California Criminal Justice and is sponsored by the Crime and Justice Policy Program of the Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World.

Religion, Race, and the Humanitarian Disaster in Sudan

Born and raised in Sudan, Jok Madut Jok grew up in an environment of political instability, dictatorial governments, economic uncertainty, and conflict. His first book, Militarization, Gender, and Reproductive Health in South Sudan (1998), addressed how violence spreads within communities during times of violent political conflict. He based it on his research in Sudan and refugee camps in neighboring countries.

During his recent fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Jok chronicled the atrocities committed during the war in Sudan and the actions of mediators who have been trying to get the warring parties to advance the peace process. Jok believes that mediation by developed countries in conflicts that are occurring in developing countries is usually marred by the mediators' own history, national interests, and the perceptions held by the country in conflict. He says a peace deal reached between the warring parties has very little relevance to those who actually live in war. The victims of the war are neglected. Today, the war in Sudan drags on and the peace process teeters on collapse in what has become a vicious cycle. "To move forward," Jok says, "we must look for mechanisms to find justice by way of reparations and compensation for the victims."

Jok received his B.A. from University of Alexandria in Egypt; his M.A. from American University in Cairo; and his Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently an assistant professor of history at Loyola Marymount University.

Professor Jok's Athenaeum presentation is sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights as part of the series Torture, Human Rights, and the Geneva Convention.

McKenna Lecture on International Trade and Economics

The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century

Paul Krugman welcomes people to his personal website by saying, "With any luck, you will find many of these pieces extremely annoying. My belief is that if an op-ed or column does not greatly upset a substantial number of people, the author has wasted the space." Throughout his career, Krugman has used the popular press to highlight policy makers' misuse of economic theory. He helped found "new trade theory," which challenges the theory that nations compere with each other for jobs and markets, he criticized the Reagan White House for their supply side economics, and he quit working for the Clinton White House because he disagreed with their "strategic trade" policy. In 1997, Fareed Zakari, managing editor of Foreign Affairs, which publishes some of Krugman's work, said, "Paul's strength is that he's not intimidated by authority— either intellectual or political."

Krugman was raised on Long Island and educated at MIT. He has written and edited 18 books and written countless op-ed pieces for The New York Times, Fortune, and Slate.com to name a few. In 1991 he was awarded the biannual John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association for achievement by an Economist under 40. He has taught at Stanford, MIT and Princeton and worked for the Council of Economic Advisors and the World Bank. His most recent book, The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century (2003), immediately hit number 4 on the New York Times Best Sellers List and this spring he published Principles of Economics (2004), a textbook coauthored with Robin Wells.

Paul Krugman's lecture is the tenth annual McKenna Lecture on International Trade and Economics funded by the Philip M. McKenna Foundation and presented at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum. Dinner reservations are for CMC persons only. The lecture at 6:45 p.m. is open for all.

Media Malarky: Can Democracy Survive the Mass Media?

A veteran of more than forty years in print, radio and television journalism, Sander Vanocur has been covering national and international news since 1958, and was one of three panelists on the first Kennedy-Nixon televised debate in 1960.

He began his journalism career as a reporter in London for The Manchester Guardian. At the same time, he was a commentator for the North American Service of the BBC and a stringer for CBS News. From 1975 to 1977, Vanocur was the television editor and critic for The Washington Post. He gained national prominence during his 14 years with NBC News, where he served three years as White House Correspondent before being named National Political Correspondent. While with NBC News, Vanocur was also Washington Correspondent for the "Today" show, a contributing editor to the "Huntley-Brinkley Report," and host of "First Tuesday," a monthly two-hour magazine program.

A veteran political reporter, Vanocur was ABC News' chief "overview" correspondent covering the Democratic and Republican candidates in the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections. He was a floor reporter at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1980 and covered the podium at the 1984 national conventions. In 1982, he was ABC's Senior Correspondent in Buenos Aires covering the Falkland Islands war between Great Britain and Argentina.

Vanocur left NBC News in September, 1971, to become Senior Correspondent for the National Public Affairs Center for television of PBS. Two years later, he became consultant to the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and professor of communications at Duke University. He recently completed a video series on the post-war Congress and the Media as well as the video series on Television and the President which has been distributed to university and college journalism schools and political science departments. He left ABC News in 1991 to form his own company, Old Owl Communications, a full service communications and consulting corporation.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Vanocur graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in political science and spent a year in graduate study at the London School of Economics.

Are Capitalism and Democracy Bound to Win?

"I am fundamentally in favor of empire," wrote Niall Ferguson in his recent book Colossus: The Price of America's Empire (2004). "Indeed, I believe that empire is more necessary in the twenty-first century than ever before."

Though aspiring to neither colonialism nor conquest, Ferguson believes that America does indeed control an empire, defined by the "soft power" of economic muscle and liberal democratic idealism. But despite overwhelming military, economic, and cultural dominance, America has had a difficult time imposing its will on other nations, mostly because the country is uncomfortable with imperialism and thus unable to use this power most effectively and decisively.

Ferguson contrasts this persistent American anti-imperialistic urge with the attitude held by the British Empire, and suggests that America has much to learn from that model if it is to achieve its stated foreign policy objectives of spreading social freedom, democracy, development, and the free market to the world. He believes that liberal imperialism is the necessary political-military complement to economic globalization, and that empire is needed as a means to "contain epidemics, depose tyrants, end local wars and eradicate terrorist organizations." He believes the sooner America embraces this role and acts on it confidently, the better.

Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard University and senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University, was born in Glasgow in 1964 and graduated with First Class Honors from Magdalen College, Oxford. Ferguson's previous books include The Pity of War (1998), The World's Banker: The House of Rothschild (1998), The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000 (2001), and Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (2004). A prolific commentator on contemporary politics, he writes and reviews regularly for the American and British press.

Niall Ferguson's Athenaeum lecture is cosponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, and the Athenaeum.

The Madrigal Feast

A Special Notice to the CMC Community

The Madrigal dinner is back! The Twenty-second Annual Madrigal Feast returns to the Athenaeum featuring the Concert Choir of The Claremont Colleges and the medieval cuisine of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

There are three dates still open: Thursday, December 2, Tuesday, December 7, and Wednesday, December 8. Due to the popularity of the Madrigal, you are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. Seating is on a first-come basis. The CMC community— students, faculty, and staff— will get a preferential sign-up period through October 25. After that all other Claremont Colleges students may sign up.

Use the reservation coupon to sign up and be sure to include your payment and meal card number when turning in your reservation at the Athenaeum office. If you wish to sit with a group, please turn in a list of all names and meal card numbers with your payment. We have a limited number of tables that can seat 8 or to people.

CMC students with meal card $10.00 per person
CMC students without meal card $15.00 per person
CMC faculty and staff (limit two tickets per person) $25.00 per person
Claremont Colleges students with meal card $15.00 per person
Claremont Colleges students without meal card $20.00 per person
Claremont Colleges faculty and staff (limit two tickets per person) $30.00 per person
Community persons $35.00 per person

Seating for each Madrigal Feast will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. and concluding around 9:00 p.m. after the concert following each meal. All guests to the feast are expected to remain for the concert.

Where you sit at the Madrigal is entirely dependent upon when your paid reservation is received. Get a group of friends to sign up to sit together so that you may all have an unforgettable time at the Twenty-second Annual Madrigal Feast at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.