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March 2021

Engaging the Evil Empire: Washington, Moscow, and the Beginning of the End of the Cold War

March 22, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

A Preview Interview with Simon Miles In a narrative-redefining approach, Engaging the Evil Empire dramatically alters how we look at the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Tracking key events in US-Soviet relations across the years between 1980 and 1985, Simon Miles shows that covert engagement gave way to overt conversation as both superpowers determined that open diplomacy was the best means of furthering their own, primarily competitive, goals. Miles narrates the history of these dramatic years, as President Ronald…

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April 2021

Stranger Danger: Family Values, Childhood, and the American Carceral State

April 8, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

A Preview Interview with Dr. Paul Renfro Beginning with Etan Patz's disappearance in Manhattan in 1979, a spate of high-profile cases of missing and murdered children stoked anxieties about the threats of child kidnapping and exploitation. Publicized through an emerging twenty-four-hour news cycle, these cases supplied evidence of what some commentators dubbed "a national epidemic" of child abductions committed by "strangers." In this book, Paul M. Renfro narrates how the bereaved parents of missing and slain children turned their grief…

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Season Finale: The Past, the Promise, the Presidency

April 15, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

28 Down. 1 to go. We started with Lincoln, and have made it to Biden. Join us LIVE for the season 1 finale of "The Past, the Promise, the Presidency: Race & the American Legacy," the CPH's inaugural podcast season.  If you’ve been with us from the start, or for any period of time since then, we're sure you’ve got questions!  And comments.  Critiques and thoughts. Join your podcast hosts Lindsay Chervinsky, Sharron Conrad, Jeffrey Engel, and the CPH team…

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The Cigarette: A Political History

April 22, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

A Preview Interview with Dr. Sarah Milov The untold political story of the most controversial consumer product in American history. Tobacco is the quintessential American product. From Jamestown to the Marlboro Man, the plant occupied the heart of the nation’s economy and expressed its enduring myths. But today smoking rates have declined and smokers are exiled from many public spaces. The story of tobacco’s fortunes may seem straightforward: science triumphed over our addictive habits and the cynical machinations of tobacco…

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Cold War in Chinatown: Fighting for Chinese American Rights in the 1950s

April 28, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Zoom Webinar

                          In the 1950s, the US government not only called the new People’s Republic of China an enemy of the “free world” but also supported the Chinese Nationalist regime on Taiwan, which vowed to reconquer the Chinese mainland it had once ruled. In response, PRC leader Mao Zedong derided the United States as a “paper tiger” and promised to help defeat American aggression. The resulting international tensions both…

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May 2021

Rethinking American Grand Strategy

May 6, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

A Preview Interview with Dr. Christopher Nichols A Preview Interview with Dr. Andrew Preston A Preview Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Engel A wide-ranging rethinking of the many factors that comprise the making of American Grand Strategy. What is grand strategy? What does it aim to achieve? And what differentiates it from normal strategic thought--what, in other words, makes it "grand"? In answering these questions, most scholars have focused on diplomacy and warfare, so much so that "grand strategy" has become…

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June 2021

To Bigotry No Sanction

June 2, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

 A historic musical performance featuring members of The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Center for Presidential History is proud to partner with Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in their presentation of To Bigotry No Sanction - a new cantata based on George Washington's historic 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI, composed by Jonathan Comisar and featuring members of The Philadelphia Orchestra. This event is the virtual premier of To Bigotry No Sanction and is free to all! In 1790,…

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The Man I Knew: The Amazing Story of George H.W. Bush’s Post-Presidency

June 7, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

 Jean Becker, President George H.W. Bush’s chief of staff (1994-2018), in conversation with Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author, and Chris Buckley, American author and political satirist. When Jean Becker closed up President Bush’s Houston office in 2019 after his death, she told the Houston Chronicle, “What a pleasure. What a journey.” In The Man I Knew, the former chief of staff to President George H. W. Bush shares an intimate look into the post-presidency of one of America’s most…

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September 2022

Red, Blue, and Brown: Tejano History, Politics, and the 2022 Election

September 15 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
Dallas Hall 306 (McCord Auditorium),
3225 University Blvd
Dallas, TX 75205 United States
+ Google Map

  Election seasons have always been filled with political and partisan appeals to various groups of people: special interest groups, religious organizations, ethnic voting blocs, and more. One group which has received a dramatic increase in political and journalistic attention over the last few years are Tejanos: Texans of Mexican or Hispanic descent. Much digital ink has been spilled over Tejano voting history and practice: will they vote Democratic blue? Are Republican red numbers increasing since the Trump presidency? But…

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Unsettled Land: From Revolution to Republic, the Struggle for Texas

September 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
Dallas Hall 306 (McCord Auditorium),
3225 University Blvd
Dallas, TX 75205 United States
+ Google Map

  The Texas Revolution has long been cast as an epic episode in the origins of the American West. As the story goes, larger-than-life figures like Sam Houston, David Crockett, and William Barret Travis fought to free Texas from repressive Mexican rule. In Unsettled Land (Basic, 2022), historian Sam Haynes reveals the reality beneath this powerful creation myth. He shows how the lives of ordinary people—white Americans, Mexicans, Native Americans, and those of African descent—were upended by extraordinary events over twenty-five years. After the battle of San Jacinto, racial lines snapped taut as a new nation, the Lone Star republic, sought to expel Indians,…

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