Saturday, May 23, 2009

James Mann about Ronald Reagan - UChannel

The fascinating thing about the 1980's for me is that I vividly remembered them, was a fanatic newspaper reader at the time and that the 1980's are becoming part of history. And then, when historians speak of events in the 1980's I relive the era and also receive new perspectives on my own perception. A case in point is when James Mann speaks about his book The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War.

James Mann was a guest speaker at Princeton University in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in April 2009 where he spoke of his new book (UChannel Podcast). Even if he is not the most engaging speaker - he retells some of the parts of his book en research in a seemingly random fashion - the experience is still very exciting. At least for me. At the time, I never felt Reagan was worried about the Cold War and happily seizing the opportunity to make deals with Gorbachev. Mann shows in many entertaining anecdotes that this is so.

If you like this lecture by James Mann, you will enjoy all the more the interview he gave to Marshall Poe on New Books in History. In both podcasts you will learn the backstory, among others, of Reagan's famous line in Berlin: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! I keep hearing this with Pink Floyd in the backdrop (I told you I am from the eighties), but if aything was torn down that day, it was Erich Honecker - listen and find out.

More UChannel Podcast:
Disasters and Peace,
Enclosing the commons of the mind,
Middle East challenges,
Good climate for everyone (global warming),
Robots and War.
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