Limited War, Unlimited

National History CenterThe National History Center invites the public to attend its Decolonization Lecture Series featuring Professor Marilyn B. Young on Limited War, Unlimited. The lecture will be on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. in Room 119, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, SE. It is part of the Fourth International Seminar on Decolonization hosted by the National History Center with funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The history of the Cold War in the United States is the history of how, while never abandoning World War II as the platonic ideal of war, post-war administrations were able to use military force in a limited, instrumental way. For this to be possible they had to create a public tolerance for war as normal rather than aberrational, so normal that after a while only those who were actively engaged in fighting it—and their families—noticed a war was being fought at all. War, as Joe Haldeman’s dystopian novel, The Forever War, predicted, would be “forever.” Professor Young’s lecture explores the many ways in which the “forever war” was manifested, first in Asia, and subsequently in the Middle East.

Marilyn Young received her PhD from Harvard University in 1963. She taught at the University of Michigan before coming to New York University in 1980 where she is a full professor in the Department of History. Professor Young teaches courses on the history of U.S. foreign policy, and the politics and culture of post-war United States. Her publications include Rhetoric of Empire: American China Policy, 1895–1901, Transforming Russia and China: Revolutionary Struggle in the 20th Century (with William Rosenberg), and The Vietnam Wars, 1945–1990.

A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Complimentary light refreshments will be served. The lecture is co-sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and will be webcast. For more information, see the National History Center’s web page on this event.

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  1. Thomas Hagedorn

    Since hearing Prof. Young’s statement at a AHA (or was it OAH) panel on the Iraq War in 2003 or 2004, I am not very interested in her scholarship. I doubt that she can separate her partisanship and personal beliefs from her work. I hope that I am wrong, but I don’t think so. In any event her nasty rhetoric had no place at a meeting of scholars.

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  2. Trevor Griffey

    Thomas you might want to read one of Professor Young’s books before you speculate on the quality of her scholarship.

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