Revolution 1989: what exactly happened?
How did the mighty Soviet empire collapse so quickly, so completely - and so peacefully? Victor Sebestyen is an author and journalist. This lecture marks the launch of his latest book, Revolution 1989: the fall of the Soviet Empire.
LSE Literary Weekend - At the margins - are hard times good times for literature?
Editors note: We apologise for the poor audio quality of this podcast. The UK has been buffeted by financial crises and an economic collapse which have seen public debt soar and corporate budgets constrict. The publishing industry has arguably seen its worst financial year in decades, with flagging book sales and dwindling literature coverage in the national press. How will literature will fare in the current climate, and in the years to come? Will major publishers' dwindling revenues mean fewer
Civil Society, Aid and Security
The Obama administration has abandoned the term 'War on Terror' and taken steps to undo the worst excesses of the post-9/11 security regime. However the legislation, structures and practices introduced after the attacks remain deeply embedded. The event is followed by the launch of Jude Howell and Jeremy Lind's new book Counter-terrorism, Aid and Civil Society.
Recent History of Boston Transportation
Frederick Salvucci’s perspective on transportation development is an amalgam of civil engineering, history, economics, policy, and not least, the direct impact on people’s lives. Here he surveys the evolution of transportation in Boston and beyond from the 1830s to the present.
Salvucci covers si
Final Journey to the Hubble Space Telescope
Astronaut Mike Massimino returns to MIT and shares his experience on the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-125). Topics include the challenges of space walking while repairing the Hubble, having the right tools on hand for high stakes repairs, and the long hours of practice that lead up to the task.
Welcomed back to MIT by Aer
How Can We Improve Disaster Response?
Even if the U.S. draws the right lessons from Hurricane Katrina, panelists suggest, the nation may still be caught short in the next disaster.
In some areas of government, Kenneth Oye points out, “weaknesses can go on for a long time because you don’t confront a reality test. Katrina was a reality test wi
Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons
Joseph Cirincione delivers an energetic and at times impassioned primer on the standoff with Iran on its nuclear program, drawn in part from his latest book, The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons (Columbia University Press, Spring 2007).
He offers a succinct ‘equation’ to describe what drives nat
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
The authors of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy caused a sensation on the Beltway and on campuses across the U.S. Here they walk a respectful MIT audience through their argument that Israel does not deserve unconditional support from the U.S.
Stephen Walt builds a case that a special relationship exists
So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits and the President Failed on Iraq
Greg Mitchell has found both comedy and tragedy in the shameless and near-universal complicity between the American press and the Bush Administration around the Iraq war and occupation. Mitchell’s amply documented account of the run-up to the invasion through the recent surge forms the basis of his new book, So Wro
Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist
Who knew that one of mankind’s greatest scientists also worked as a gumshoe on London’s mean streets, or that this same absent-minded professor helped England fix its monetary policy from an office in the Tower of London? Thomas Levenson brings all sorts of surprises to light in his own sleuthing of a little known but significa
Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher
His latest book, Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher, came about quite accidentally, Irving Singer recounts. Singer was writing a book about several filmmakers, and discovered, when starting on the Bergman chapter, that the filmmaker had directed dozens of movies. Singer set out to explore this oeuvre – no easy task
The Inner History of Devices
Contemporary science has done a great disservice to Sigmund Freud, suggests Sherry Turkle, who believes the psychoanalytic tradition can teach us much about the often concealed connections between physical objects and our thoughts and feelings. On the occasion of the publication of her latest book, The Inner History of Devi
Celebrating James Marshall and Humor in Children’s Books
Friends, colleagues and fans unite in loving praise of a children’s author who, though renowned, never got his due. James Marshall was writer/illustrator of the George and Martha and The Cut-Ups book series (he also illustrated Miss Nelson and The Stupids series, among many others). He died at ag
enChanting Musical Artifacts in Unlikely Places: Rare Resources in MIT’s Lewis Music Library
There are times when it’s necessary to judge a book by its cover, or a single page, because that’s all that remains. Michael Scott Cuthbert and Nancy Schrock reveal some treasures from MIT’s early music collection which, while often incomplete or damaged, sing volumes about their origins and use.
How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone
From the publisher:
“Heralded as a “sorcerer of narrative” (Foreign Policy) with an instinct for “poetic and intoxicating language” (Freie Presse), twenty-nine-year-old Saša Stanišić bounded onto the international literary scene to great fanfare and acclaim. How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone—the tale
Report Card on the War on Terror
Gary Hart wields his national security expertise to query these two authors in detail on their latest collaboration. Benjamin summarizes the book this way: “By pursuing the policies we have, we are hastening the next attack. I’m not talking about a run of the mill attack, the kind society could learn to live with, but a really big
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil
Perhaps no one comprehends the roots of depravity and cruelty better than Philip Zimbardo. He is renowned for such research as the Stanford Prison Experiment, which demonstrated how, in the right circumstances, ordinary people can swiftly become amoral monsters. Evil is not so much inherent in individuals, Zimbardo showed, but e
Institutional Perspectives on Storage
European archivists grapple with the legal obligations, civic responsibilities and future prospects of their collections, which, thanks to the Internet and other new technologies, are increasingly awash in image and sound. As William Urichhio notes, “tradition-bound institutions know what we should be gathering: feat
Pursuing The Endless Frontier: Essays on MIT and the Role of Research Universities
At the conclusion of 14 years at the helm of the Institute, Chuck Vest discusses the challenges and opportunities involved in guiding a major research university through tumultuous times. Vest’s new book, outlined in his remarks, provides a detailed and intimate view of his MIT “adventure.” Some key chapters: At the start of hi
Yes We Must: Achieve Diversity through Leadership-Keynote
Two “sisters” -- both university chiefs -- celebrate the victory of the first African-American U.S. President, but remind listeners that American institutions have not yet achieved the full measure of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.
MIT, which prides itself on inventing the future, says Susan Hockfield, must