Middlebury

Writer, broadcaster and Harvard professor Michael Ignatieff to give lecture on "The Lesser Evil: Hard Choices in the War on Terror" April 16

March 29, 2004

  Praise for Michael Ignatieff's "The Lesser Evil"

Michael Ignatieff's "The Lesser Evil" is a strikingly readable rumination on the ethical challenge of our time: How can a liberal democracy survive the long struggle against terror and do so in ways that preserve its institutions and dignity intact?

--Michael Doyle, Harold Brown Professor of Law and International Affairs, Columbia University

 

Michael IgnatieffMIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Michael Ignatieff, writer, broadcaster, director of the Carr Center of Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, nd Carr Professor of Human Rights Practice, will speak at Middlebury College on Friday, April 16, at 4:30 p.m. in Mead Chapel on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125).  His talk, "The Lesser Evil:  Hard Choices in the War on Terror," will be this year's John Hamilton Fulton Lecture in the Liberal Arts.  The event is free and open to the public.

Originally from Canada, Ignatieff, who is a former BBC talk show host, has spent most of his adult life in Britain and the United States.  In an article on Ignatieff in June of 2003, the Canadian news weekly magazine Macleans said, "His genre-leaping successes as a writer and broadcaster . rank him among the most influential Canadian thinkers."  The story also describes the rift that has developed between him and his Canadian supporters, pointing to the fact that "Ignatieff was arguably the most prominent liberal supporter of the U.S. invasion of Iraq."  The Macleans story discusses Ingnatieff's criticism of the Bush administration's handling of post-war Iraq as well, and states that he "Now . joins many observers who never supported the war in the first place."

Ignatieff is the author of "The Lesser Evil:  Political Ethics in an Age of Terror," which will be published in May by Princeton University Press.  On its Web site, the publisher states, "Ignatieff argues that we must not shrink from the use of violence?that far from undermining liberal democracy, force can be necessary for its survival. But its use must be measured, not a program of torture and revenge. And we must not fool ourselves that whatever we do in the name of freedom and democracy is good. We may need to kill to fight the greater evil of terrorism, but we must never pretend that doing so is anything better than a lesser evil."

Ignatieff is also the author of "The Russian Album," which won Canada's Governor General Award and the Heinemann Prize from Britain's Royal Society of Literature in 1988, and the novel "Scar Tissue," short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1993.  Other books by Ignatieff include "Isaiah Berlin: A Life," "Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism," "The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience,"  "The Needs of Strangers," and "Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry."

Ignatieff holds a doctorate in history from Harvard University, where he is currently teaching a course titled "Human Rights, State Sovereignty, and Intervention."  He frequently lectures publicly, and writes regularly for such publications as The New York Times Magazine and The New York Review of Books. 

The John Hamilton Fulton Lecture

The John Hamilton Fulton Lecture in the Liberal Arts was established at Middlebury College in 1966.  The late Alexander Hamilton Fulton, an emeritus member of the Middlebury College board of trustees, donated the gift that established the lectureship, which is named in honor of his father.

Previous Fulton lecturers have included Beverly Sills, James A. Baker III, William H. Rehnquist, Wynton Marsalis and Elie Wiesel.

For more information, contact Kathleen Knippler in the office of the secretary of Middlebury College at knippler@middlebury.edu or 802-443-5393.  A video of the talk is available on the College's Web site at /offices/media/resources/Ignatieff+Lecture.html

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