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Wall Street Journal columnist to speak on campus

Walter Russell Mead will speak at St. Olaf College October 30 in two separate events.

Wall Street Journal columnist, widely acclaimed historian, and foreign policy expert Walter Russell Mead will speak twice on campus on October 30 as part of the Institute for Freedom & Community’s fall series exploring Patriotism, Nationalism, and the Idea of America.

He will begin by delivering a lecture,  “History, American Greatness, and the State of Israel,” at 3:30 p.m. in Viking Theater that will explore the historical context and intense debates surrounding America’s support for an independent Jewish state.

At 7 p.m., Mead will sit down for an interview with Morrison Family Director of the Institute for Freedom and Community Edmund Santurri. Through this exchange, titled “Examining ‘America First’: Nationalism and Jacksonian Democracy in the 21st Century,” Mead will analyze the Trump presidency’s foreign and domestic goals through a populist lens.

Both events are free and open to the public, and will be streamed live and available on demand online.

Mead is a Distinguished Fellow at the Hudson Institute, the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, and the Global View Columnist at the Wall Street Journal. From 1997 to 2010, Mead was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, serving as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy from 2003 until his departure.

His book, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World, was widely hailed by reviewers, historians, and diplomats as an important study that will change the way Americans and others think about American foreign policy. Among several honors and prizes, Special Providence received the Lionel Gelber Award for best book in English on international relations in 2002. In 2012 the Foreign Policy Research Institute awarded him its Benjamin Franklin Prize for his work in the field of American foreign policy.

Mead writes on a wide variety of subjects ranging from international affairs to religion, politics, culture, education, and the media. He has contributed to a wide variety of leading American journals ranging from Mother Jones to GQ. He serves as a regular reviewer of books for Foreign Affairs and frequently appears on national and international radio and television programs. His next book, The Arc of A Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People is forthcoming through Knopf.

Mead is an honors graduate of Groton and Yale, a founding board member of New America, and also serves on the board of Freedom House. He is a native of South Carolina and recently moved from Jackson Heights, Queens to Washington, D.C.

Established at St. Olaf in 2014, the Institute for Freedom and Community encourages free inquiry and meaningful debate of important political and social issues. Through its range of programming for students, faculty, and the general public, the Institute offers a distinctive opportunity to cultivate civil discourse within the context of the liberal arts.

Please visit the Institute’s website for the full list of fall speakers, and sign up for the quarterly newsletter to receive regular updates and information about Institute programming.