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Historian and author to speak April 30 on 'America in the Middle East'

April 23, 2009

NOTE: EVENT CANCELLED. A note from Professor Robert Schine: "I regret to announce at this late date (4/28) that Dr. Michael Oren, who was to deliver the 22nd Annual Hannah A. Quint Lecture in Jewish Studies this Thursday, April 30, has had to cancel his visit to Middlebury.  Some of you may have read in the press that he has been chosen by the new Israeli government for the post of Ambassador to the United States; Dr. Oren was asked to return to Jerusalem today to prepare for the nomination process."

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - On Thursday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m., provocative and internationally respected Middle East expert  Michael B. Oren will present a lecture titled "America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present" in Middlebury College's Dana Auditorium, located in Sunderland Language Center off College Street (Route 125). The event is the 22nd annual Hannah A. Quint Lecture in Jewish Studies, and is free and open to the public.

Oren is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem-based research facility where he specializes in the diplomatic and military history of the Middle East. He has written extensively for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and New Republic, and has been interviewed on CNN, Fox News, The Charlie Rose Show and The Daily Show. He is the Middle East expert for CBS.

A graduate of Princeton and Columbia, Oren has received fellowships from the United States Departments of State and Defense, and also from the British and Canadian governments. He was a Lady Davis Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Moshe Dayan Fellow at Tel-Aviv University in Israel. He was a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale and is currently teaching at Georgetown University. He has testified before Congress on Middle Eastern affairs and briefed the White House.

Oren is the author of "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East," published in 2002. A New York Times bestseller, the book won the Los Angeles Times' History Book of the Year prize and the National Jewish Book Award. His most recent book, "Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present," published in 2007 was on the New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks and won a Council for the Humanities Book Award.

Raised in New Jersey, where he was an activist in Zionist youth movements and a gold medal winning athlete in the Maccabia Games, Oren moved to Israel in the 1970s. He has served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, a representative of the Israeli prime minister's office in the Soviet Union, and as an advisor to Israel's delegation to the United Nations. He was the director of Inter-Religious Affairs in the government of Yitzhak Rabin.

The Hannah A. Quint Lecture in Jewish Studies was established in 1987 by Hannah A. Quint and her son Eliot Levinson of Middlebury's class of 1964. The mandate of the lectureship is to provoke thought in the college, the community and the region on issues of the moment in Jewish history, religion and culture. The event is sponsored by the Middlebury College Religion Department and the Program in Jewish Studies.  

For more information, contact Charlene Barrett in the Middlebury College Department of Religion at or 802-443-5289.