Yale Bulletin and Calendar

January 26, 2001Volume 29, Number 16

David M. Kennedy

Historian David Kennedy to discuss World War II

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will host a lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy on Friday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m., at the Law School, 127 Wall St.

Kennedy's talk, "A Tale of Three Cities: How the United States Won World War II," is the third in the Graduate School's Tercentennial lecture series, "In the Company of Scholars," organized by Dean Susan Hockfield during the academic year 2000-01, when the University is celebrating its 300th anniversary. Each speaker in the series is an alumnus of the Graduate School.

The talk is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the common room of the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York St.

Kennedy earned his Ph.D. in American studies from Yale in 1968, after completing an undergraduate degree at Stanford University. In 1967 he returned to Stanford, where he is now the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History. He teaches 20th-century American history, and political and social thought; American foreign policy; American literature; and the comparative development of democracy in Europe and America. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former Guggenheim Foundation Fellow.

Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize in April 2000 for his book "Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945." The 858-page book, the fourth volume in the Oxford University Press "History of the United States" series, provides a comprehensive examination of the Great Depression, the New Deal and World War II. "Freedom from Fear" was the product of 11 years of research and writing that included reading hundreds of published accounts and visiting major battle sites of World War II, including Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, Anzio and Salerno in Italy and the beaches of Normandy.

In 1981, Kennedy's book "Over Here: The First World War and American Society" was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In "Over Here," Kennedy used the U.S. involvement in World War I to analyze the political system, economy and culture of early 20th-century America. His 1970 book "Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger" explored the medical, legal, political and religious dimensions of birth control and helped to pioneer the emerging field of women's history.

With coauthor Thomas A. Bailey, Kennedy wrote the seventh edition of "The American Pageant," a history textbook that is widely used in college courses and Advanced Placement courses in high schools throughout the country.

The next talk in the Graduate School's "In the Company of Scholars" series will be a lecture by Robert Birgeneau, president of the University of Toronto and former dean of science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on April 9. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from Yale in 1966.


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