Three dissimilar books cast new light on Franklin Delano Roosevelt


The question has haunted historians now for 70 years:

Was a fading President Franklin D. Roosevelt hoodwinked by a deviously clever Joseph Stalin into turning over Poland and much of Eastern Europe to the Soviets during the closing year of World War II?

Or was a dying, yet keenly engaged president focused on a much larger and more profound prize than simply how Europe might be carved up after the defeat of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany?


Read more..

Inextricably Bound: Prostitution and Sex Trafficking 11/30

Wherever there is prostitution, whether legal or illegal, sex trafficking exists.

The United States fights trafficking through the criminalization of all aspects of prostitution. Germany legalized prostitution in 2002, treating prostitution as any other occupation. Yet trafficking of all ages abounds.

Both approaches have failed miserably.

An alternative system seeing some success is the Nordic model, first instituted in Sweden. This makes it legal to sell one’s self for sex, but illegal to be the buyer or “John,” or to facilitate the prostitution of another.


The internet, which enables sex-for-pay delivery to the buyer, has revolutionized trafficking., the major offender and a multi-million dollar business, is in the news for the recent arrest of their CEO.  This promises to be a long legal battle, with First Amendment issues being raised.

Limited to 9, with preference given to undergraduates. On the record.


The Problem

Saving a Nation: Restoring the Rule of Law In Guatemala

gomezJoin Iván Velásquez Gómez, Commissioner for the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), as he describes his battles against illegal security groups and clandestine security organizations in Guatemala – criminal groups believed to have infiltrated state institutions, fostering impunity and undermining democratic gains in Guatemala since the end of the country’s armed conflict in the 1990s. The CICIG  represents an innovative initiative by the United Nations together with a Member State to strengthen the rule of law in a post-conflict country. Before his post with CICIG, Commissioner Gómez was a prosecutor in Colombia, where he investigated the ties and relations of former President Uribe to paramilitary groups.

Co-sponsored by the Center for International Development, the Carr Center for Human Rights, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies

4:00-5:30 PM in the Adams House LCR

Tickets to this event are free, with priority given to Harvard students, but you MUST register HERE

How Canada Got Immigration Right

Ever since the start of this bizarre presidential campaign, Donald Trump has ensured that most discussions of immigration focus on Mexico and Mexicans. But his noxious rhetoric has obscured the fact that illegal border crossings are just part of the problem. The U.S. system for legal immigration also badly needs reform—and here the answers lie not south but north, in Canada.

Canada today has one of the highest immigration rates in the world. For the past two decades, it has admitted about 250,000 newcomers a year—close to 1% of the population—and Ottawa expects that number to grow to 337,000 a year by 2018. More than 20% of Canada’s inhabitants are now foreign-born—almost twice the proportion of residents of Sweden, Germany or the U.S., even if you lump in undocumented migrants.

Read more in the WSJ

His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt

– – Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Readers are right to flinch whenever a book under review is called, “magisterial.”

Yet there is a certain majesty in the way author Joseph Lelyveld combines his long-honed reporting experience with a historian’s eye firmly fixed on this important story. In this case it is an exploration of the labyrinthine mind of Franklin D. Roosevelt as he enters the decline leading to his death on April 12, 1945 at his hideaway in Warm Springs, Ga.

Mr. Lelyveld’s story is important on several counts. With an impressive array of new archival evidence he challenges the long-lived slander that FDR gave away Eastern Europe to the tyrant Josef Stalin either because (as many old Cold Warriors swear) Roosevelt was a Communist dupe or, more plausibly, because he was unaware of his deteriorating health and could not focus on the critical Big Three negotiations that he, Winston Churchill and Stalin waged at Tehran in December 1943 and again in Yalta in February 1945.

Read more at the Washington Times

Living in a Post-Fact World: Lessons from Swedish Counter Propaganda 10/3

sovietdisinformation_1200This is a rare chance to meet the men and women at Counter Influence Branch of the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB), a kingdom-wide combination of America’s DHS and FEMA. Learn about current trends in international media manipulation, defensive media monitoring and analysis, and the Swedish approach to counter propaganda.

12:00-1:30pm, OCTOBER 3, 2016

Limited to 30 – SIGN UP HERE

Location: Adams House Upper Common Room

This is a brown-bag lunch event. Adams House students: feel free to bring a tray up from the dining hall.