October 23, 00

Vol. 16 , No. 03   

The Korean War: Personal Reflections
MONDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2000 12:15 p.m.

As a 29-year-old major in command of Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, Edwin Howard Simmons landed at Inchon on 15 September 1950 during the Korean War. He took part in the epic Chosin (Chanjin) Reservoir campaign and other major offensives. He left Korea in late June 1951 after being lightly wounded. A veteran of three wars-World War II in the Pacific, Korea, and Vietnam-he likes to boast that he has commanded in combat, or been acting commander, of every size Marine unit from platoon to division. His 14 personal military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, three Legions of Merit with Combat V, two Bronze Stars with Combat V, and a Purple Heart.

In 1972, upon retirement from active service, he returned to active duty to serve as the Director of Marine Corps History and Museums. He held this position for 24 years. General Simmons is a past president of the American Military Institute, the Council on America's Military Past, and the 1st Marine Division Association, and is a founder and past vice president of the Marine Corps Heritage (formerly "Historical") Foundation. His publications include award-winning Korean war novel, Dog Company Six (2000), The United States Marines: A History (1998), The Marines (1998), and a 68-page pamphlet history, Over the Sea Wall: U.S. Marines at Inchon (2000). At present he is writing a similar pamphlet history of the Chosin Reservoir campaign and a book-length history of the Marines in the First World War. General Simmons' luncheon speech is sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies. Lunch begins at 11:45 a.m. General Simmons will speak at 12:15 p.m.

The Racial Politics of Adoption

Named in 1994 as one of Time magazine's "50 American's under 40 destined to shape the future of the US," Randall Kennedy's career has led him from the legal profession to academia as an accomplished professor, journalist, editor, and author.

After graduating from Princeton University, where he won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University, Kennedy received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1982. He then clerked for Judge J. Skelly Wright and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States. Kennedy began teaching law at Harvard Law School in 1984, where he remains a Professor of Law specializing in contracts, the regulation of freedom of expression, and race relations law.

In 1990 Kennedy founded the magazine Reconstruction, a highly praised journal of African-American politics and culture. He has also written for The Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Review, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New Republic. Kennedy is a contributing editor at IntellectualCapital.com and is on the editorial boards at The Nation, Dissent, and The American Prospect.

Kennedy's first book, Race, Crime and the Law (1997), was awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. In this book Kennedy addresses many of the issues surrounding the intersection of race relations and legal institutions-the subject of a lecture he presented at the Athenaeum in September 1997.

Kennedy's talk will draw from a nearly finished book, whose working title is Interracial Intimacies. He will describe and justify the federal Multi-Ethnic Placement Act that largely prohibits racial matching in adoption. Racial matching is the practice of preferring to place children of a given race with adults of the same race for purposes of adoption. Kennedy also criticizes the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal statute that discourages the placement of Indian children with adults who are not Indian.

Year 2000: Global Issues

In 1979 Georgetown University Professor Jeane Kirkpatrick wrote a magazine article proposing changes in United States human rights policy. This article caught the attention of Governor of California Ronald Reagan, who was at the time considering a second bid for the Presidency. Two years later, Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States and appointed Kirkpatrick as the country's first female ambassador to the United Nations. President Reagan called her "a giant among the diplomats of the world."

Kirkpatrick has had a remarkable career outside of the United Nations. She is the author of four books: Good Intentions (1996), The Withering Away of the Totalitarian Estate . . . and Other Surprises (1991), The Reagan Phenomenon and Other Speeches in Foreign Policy (1983), and Legitimacy and Force: National and International Dimensions (1987). She is a regular contributor of op-ed articles in newspapers and journals including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She has served as a member of both the Defense Policy Review Board and the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. She has received the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, as well as presidential medals from the Czech Republic and Hungary. She recently became the 50th recipient of the Friend of Zion Award from the Prime Minister of Israel.

Kirkpatrick is currently the Leavey Professor of Government at Georgetown University and testifies yearly before committees of the Senate and House of Representatives on national and international defense policies.

As a discerning scholar, political scientist, and advocate for America's foreign policy, Dr. Kirkpatrick is one of the modern era's experts on geopolitical issues. Her lecture at the Athenaeum is sponsored bv the Res Publica Society of CMC.

Human Agenda in Health Care

After the publication of Anna Quindlen's first novel, Object Lessons (1991), a review in The Washington Post noted, "Quindlen knows all the things we ever will be can be found in some forgotten fragment of family." In both her writing and her life, Quindlen dedicates herself to finding a more humane, ethical, and just way of living. She remains determined to balance motherhood and marriage with a career, not willing to sacrifice family for success.

Over the last 25 years, Anna Quindlen's work has appeared in some of America's most influential newspapers, many of its best- known magazines, and on both fiction and non-fiction lists. As a columnist at The New York Times from 1981 to 1994, Quindlen became only the third woman in the paper's history to write a regular column for its influential op-ed page when she began the nationally syndicated column "Public and Private." A collection of these columns was gathered in Thinking Out Loud (1993), which was on The New York Times Best Seller list for more than three months. In 1992 Quindlen won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for journalism.

Quindlen has written three bestselling novels: Object Lessons (1991), One True Thing (1994) and Black and Blue (1998). One True Thing was adapted into a Universal feature film starring Meryl Streep and Black and Blue was chosen for Oprah's Book Club. Quindlen is also the author of a collection of essays, Living Out Loud (1988), and two children's books, The Tree That Came to Stay (1992) and Happily Ever After (1997). She provided the text for the coffee table pictorials Naked Babies (1996) and Siblings (1998). In October 1999 Quindlen returned to life as a columnist writing the prestigious "Last Word" on the back page of Newsweek.

Anna Quindlen's visit to the Athenaeum is cosponsored by the Claremont Coalition on End of Life Issues, a grassroots community effort designed to raise awareness of the issues integral to the end of life. Dinner is for CMC persons only. The 6:45 p.m. talk is open to all.

The New Cosmology: Einstein's Biggest Blunder Undone

Gravitation has always been a question of, well . . . some gravity. Many great minds have mused over this seemingly simple force that causes all matter to attract more matter to it-from Copernicus to Galileo, from Brahe to Kepler, from Newton to Einstein. But lately there has been a problem with the commonly held theory of gravity that all observable objects-stars, planets, black holes, nebulae, etc.-account for only 5% of the theoretically necessary mass of the universe. The remaining and intangible 95% (referred to as dark matter) has eluded scientists for decades.

"We are really faced with two untenable possibilities," says Gregory Bothun, professor of physics at the University of Oregon. "Either we must believe in dark matter without really understanding anything about it, or we must believe that Newtonian gravity doesn't work the way we thought it did."

Bothun has made the exploration of this question his work. If he finds that there is, in fact, no evidence or need for the existence of dark matter, it would mean rewriting the theory of one of the most basic and observable forces of nature. Bothun began teaching at the University of Oregon in 1990, where he has also served as director of the university's Pine Mountain Observatory. As part of his work at the observatory, he supervises an educational outreach program to middle and high school aged students. Using the facilities at the observatory along with the Internet, he allows students to operate the telescopes at the observatory remotely. Because of these and other projects, he is considered a leader in integrating technology with teaching. Besides being the author of two textbooks, Modern Cosmological Observations and Problems (1998) and Cosmology: Mankind's Grand Investigation, Bothun is the scientific editor of The Astrophysical Journal. Professor Bothun also has extensive experience in operating space-based interments, including the Hubble Space Telescope.

Professor Gregory Bothun is Claremont McKenna College's 2000-2001 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

Putin's Challenge: Rebuilding the Russian State

A little more than a year ago, Russian President Boris Yeltsin appointed a lifelong KGB agent and former spy, Vladimir Putin, as his new Prime Minister. Putin's selection was deemed as the latest and perhaps most worrisome of the long list of Yeltsin appointees. Few guessed that Putin would be Yeltsin's last prime minister, and even fewer supposed that he would become Russia's second president in the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power in Russia's l000 year history. But Vladimir Putin remains an enigmatic figure. Is he liberal or authoritarian? What is to be learned from his handling of the tragedy aboard the Kursk? Will he work to foster freedom and civil liberty, or will he bring Russia back into its authoritarian winter? Putin has a clear agenda for rebuilding the Russian state in the context of a highly competitive global economy. But it is still very much an open question whether he will succeed in this task.

Peter Rutland is a fellow with the Caspian Studies Program at the Kennedy School of Government and also teaches full time at Wesleyan University. He has done fieldwork in Russia, Czechoslovakia, and Uzbekistan and recently interviewed President Putin.

Rutland completed his B.A. in politics and economics at Oxford and his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of York. He has written two books on Russian society, The Myth of the Plan (1984) and The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union: The Role of Local Political Organs in Economic Management (1993) and has edited the forthcoming Business and the State in Contemporary Russia (2000). Rutland has worked for both Radio Free Europe and the Radio Liberty Research Institute in Prague and has edited an annual survey of political events in the 27 former socialist countries for the East-West Institute.

Under the Lights: Selections of Poe

You've been to the Madrigal Feast. You've been to Lunar New Year. You know the hot-drink code backwards and forwards. You know which cheese goes best with which crackers, and how to separate the juice from the ice when you pour yourself a drink. You know that you have to show up at 3:42 p.m. if you want to get the last of the chocolate-covered strawberries from afternoon tea. You even know who Marian Miner Cook is. You think you know everything there is to know about the Athenaeum. But you don't.

On October 31st the Ath will host the First Annual Athenaeum Halloween Party. The evening will begin with a wild and scary dinner prepared by chefs David and Sid, and will be followed with a selection of poems by the great Edgar Allan Poe read by members of "Under the Lights," CMC's very own acting troupe. Finally, everyone will be dismissed from the Athenaeum around 7:15 p.m. to the Frazee Game Room, where three mystical psychics (sponsored by the director of student activities, Jim Nauls) will tell you the secrets of your future. Don't miss this exciting event . . . or else!

Costumes are optional.

What Does Green Mean? How the German Green Party Differs from the American
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2000 12:15 p.m.

During the 1984 State Parliamentary election in Baden-Wuritemburg, a leading newspaper called Green Party candidate Rezo Schlauch "a stroke of luck." This judgment has been borne out by Schlauch's subsequent political successes, culminating in his 1998 election to the German Bundestag. In the current federal government headed by Gerhard Schroder, the Green Party is (along with the Social Democratic Party) part of the ruling coalition. Undeniably, Schlauch deserves some of the credit.

Rezzo Schlauch studied law at the Universities of Freiburg and Heidelburg, then practiced in Stuttgart before joining the Green Party in 1980. When serving in the State Parliament, he worked on ecological agriculture and the problems of rural regions. His special talent was for brokering compromise between radical environmentalists and conservative farming communities like the one in which he had grown up. As one journalist wrote, Schlauch combined "a broadly left-wing political consciousness with a strong attachment to his native soil and awareness of tradition." By 1995 Schlauch was a national figure. During the Bosnian war, the Green Party, which had long been committed to nonviolence, was divided over the question of whether Germany should join the NATO-led intervention. Green leader Joschka Fischer, now German Foreign Minister, took a pro-intervention stand, and the issue was decided when Schlauch agreed.

Today, after decades of grassroots activism and dissent, the Greens are on their way to becoming what Schlauch calls "a viable governing party." It has not been a smooth process, as he would be the first to attest. But it is a fascinating story, full of valuable lessons for anyone interested in the future of European politics. Rezzo Schlauch's Athenaeum talk is cosponsored by the European Union Center of California. Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. Mr. Schlauch will speak at 12:15 p.m.

The Truth Over Time: Looking Back on My Own Work

Amy Wilentz has devoted her distinguished career in journalism to discovering the truth in places fraught with restive political and social conditions and secretive or propaganda-mongering regimes. Best known for her coverage of Haiti, she authored The Rainy Season: Hati since Duvalier (1989), an account of the long-embattled country since the end of the dictatorship of Jean Claude ("Baby Doc") Duvalier; and translated and edited In the Parish of the Poor (1990), the letters of Haiti's first democratically elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

In her talk, the third of five in the Gould Center's series, "Freedom, Power, and Persuasion: New Directions in Political Journalism in the 21st Century," Wilentz will discuss various options posed by a reporter's assignment: "distance and proximity, and which is preferable for knowing truth. . . . trusted sources (how do you judge whether your source is honest, and does it matter?); [and] chronology vs. causality. . . . Mostly I will focus on understanding personality. Was Aristide who I thought he was, or someone else entirely? How responsible was I in forming others' opinions of him? Was The Rainy Season a valuable document for those trying to understand Haiti, and should one continually revise, update and rethink one's work on a place, or is it better to 'move on'"?

A former staff-writer for Time magazine, Wilentz has contributed articles to the Los Angeles Times, Grand Street, The New Republic, The San Francisco Examiner, and The New York Times. Recently she served as Middle East correspondent for The New Yorker, and is currently a contributing editor at The Nation. Wilentz's close, insightful coverage and forceful writing have earned her the PEN Martha Albrand Non-Fiction Award and the Whiting Writers Award. She has also recently completed a soon-to-be-published novel about Jerusalem, Martyrs Crossing (2001).

Physician-Assisted Death: Progress or Peril?

Approximately two-thirds of all deaths in the United States involve a doctor's participation. These decisions, impact not only the patient, but also family, friends, and the physicians who are providing care. At the end of one's life, the choice may be to either continue aggressive medical therapy, which may not work and cause further pain, or to choose a hospice-oriented approach, which emphasizes quality over quantity of life.

Dr. Timothy Quill knows first hand the complex problems that many doctors are forced to face. In 1991 Quill put his career in danger when he wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine that he had assisted a terminally ill patient in suicide at her request, by subscribing pills and advising her on how to take a lethal dose. Moreover, he was the lead physician plaintiff in the New York State legal case challenging the law prohibiting physician-assisted death that was heard in 1997 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Quill v. Vacco). Although the Justices denied a sweeping right to assisted suicide, they left the door open for more modest claims.

Quill is a professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, a primary care internist and the Associate Chief of Medicine at the Genesee Hospital in Rochester, New York. Dr. Quill is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the Academy on Physician and Patient.

Quill has published and lectured widely about various aspects of the doctor-patient relationship with a special focus on end-of- life decision-making. He is the author of A Midwife Through the Dying Process: Stories of Healing and Hard Choices at the End of Life (1996)and Death and Dignity: Making Choices and Taking Charge (1993). He has served as a peer reviewer for The New England Journal of Medicine and published numerous journal articles.

Dr. Quill's appearance at the Athenaeum is cosponsored by the Claremont Coalition, a grassroots community effort designed to raise awareness of the issues integral to end of life.


Reservations for the Eighteenth Annual Madrigal Feast continue on a first-come, first-served basis. Join us for fun, food, music, and merriment! Please remember that payment must be included with your reservation.