“How German Exiles Shaped the Cold War in the United States”

Why – and how – did German exiles succeed in shaping the Cold War in the United States? This talk looks at the career of Hans Speier, a leading defense intellectual who fled the Nazis and helped found the RAND Corporation. While himself not Jewish, Speier represents the worldview of a whole cohort of German-Jewish intellectuals, raising important questions about the boundaries of Jewish history.

Find out about the other fascinating short lectures from JewDub Talks 2015, a program of the UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.

Daniel Bessner is Assistant Professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. His research addresses U.S. foreign relations, cultural and intellectual history, U.S.-Europe relations, Jewish Studies, and the history of the human sciences. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 2013. In 2014, the International Society for Intellectual History awarded him the Charles Schmitt Prize for Best Article by a young historian. His forthcoming book, titled “Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defense Intellectual,” is under contract with the US in the World series at Cornell University Press.

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