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July 16, 2004
Melvyn P. Leffler Named Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar in Foreign Policy and International Relations at Library of Congress
Leffler Begins Residency at Kluge Center in January 2005
Melvyn P. Leffler, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences and Edward Stettinius Professor of American History at the University of Virginia, has been appointed Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress by the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, effective Jan. 3, 2005.
Leffler is the fourth scholar to occupy the Kissinger chair since the position was created in 2000 through the generosity of friends of the former secretary of state to honor him and emphasize the importance of foreign affairs. Previous chair holders were Aaron Friedberg, director of the research program in international security and acting director of the Center of International Studies at Princeton University; Klaus Larres, Jean Monnet Professor, European Foreign and Security Policy at the School of Politics, Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Lanxin Xiang, professor of international history and politics at the Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales in Geneva.
The Kissinger chair program offers outstanding thinkers and practitioners a unique opportunity to pursue advanced research in the largest and most international collection of library materials in the world. As occupant of the Kissinger chair at the Library's John W. Kluge Center, Leffler hopes to write a book about the Cold War to address such fundamental questions as "why it started," "why it lasted as long as it did" and "why it ended when it did."
One of the country's leading authorities on modern U.S. foreign relations, Leffler received his doctorate from Ohio State University in 1972. He has been on the faculty of the department of history at the University of Virginia since 1986. In 1993 he won the prestigious Bancroft Prize for his book "A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War" (Stanford University Press, 1992). Among his other books are "Struggle for Germany and the Origins of the Cold War" (German Historical Institute, 1996); "Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953" (Hill and Wang, 1994); and "Elusive Quest: America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919-1933" (University of North Carolina Press, 1979). He was co-editor of "Origins of the Cold War: An International History" (Routledge, 1994).
Leffler served in the office of the Secretary of Defense during the Carter administration, where he worked on arms control and contingency planning as a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to a joint Soviet-American symposium on the Cold War in Moscow and Washington in 1990; he was a senior fellow at the Nobel Peace Institute in Oslo during 1993 and 1998, where he lectured on the Cold War; and he served as president of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations in 1994.
Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize public discussion, distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and interact with policymakers in Washington. The Kluge Center houses five senior Kluge Chairs (American Law and Governance, Countries and Cultures of the North, Countries and Cultures of the South, Technology and Society, and Modern Culture); other senior-level chairs (Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations, Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in American History and Ethics and the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education); and nearly 25 postdoctoral fellows.
For more information about the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair or any of the other fellowships and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595. Or, visit the center's Web site at www.loc.gov/kluge.
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