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Vol 39  No 8
Jan. 11, 2007


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Renowned historian and author
to deliver Galbraith Lecture
by Leslie Vryenhoek

Dr. Margaret MacMillan’s Paris 1919 won the Governor General’s prize for non-fiction in 2003.


Renowned historian and best-selling author Dr. Margaret MacMillan will be Memorial University’s next John Kenneth Galbraith Lecturer in Public Policy. On Jan. 29, in her first visit to St. John’s, she will speak about how history shapes the present and how decisions made today will influence our children’s and grandchildren’s lives.

The provost of Trinity College and a professor of history at the University of Toronto, Dr. MacMillan is also the author of Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, which examined the Paris Peace Conference that followed the First World War. The popular book won several awards – including the Governor General’s prize for non-fiction in 2003 – and acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Galbraith Lecture comes hot on the heels of the launch of Dr. MacMillan’s newest book, Nixon in China: The Week that Changed the World, in which she discusses the event that she contends marked the beginning of a new era in East-West relations.

In the book, Dr. MacMillan wrote: “President Richard Nixon and Chairman Mao Tse-tung were well aware that they were making history .... It was, after all, the first-ever visit of an American president to China, an end to the long standoff during which neither country had recognized the other.”

She went on to note: “Already the edge in technology and the lead in development and power are shifting eastward. Asia will be at the centre of the world again. Yet there will be no peace for Asia or for the world unless those two great Pacific powers, the U.S. and China, the one supreme today and the other perhaps tomorrow, find ways to work with each other. To understand their relationship we need to go back to 1972, to the moment when it started anew.”

While here, Dr. MacMillan will visit classrooms and share her remarkable breadth of knowledge with Memorial students and faculty.

The free public Galbraith Lecture takes place at 8 p.m. in the Inco Innovation Centre, Lecture Theatre 2001. Questions and discussion will be invited from the audience. A reception will follow.

The Galbraith Lecture Series in Public Policy, made possible through a generous donation from Dr. John Kenneth Galbraith, is an initiative of Memorial’s Leslie Harris Centre and the Offices of the President and the Dean of Arts. The annual event brings to Memorial outstanding figures whose work reflects excellence in scholarship and public affairs. It is intended to help put significant, timely and complex issues in context.

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