Category Archives: Congressional Briefings

The National History Center’s Congressional Briefings are designed to provide historical context and perspective on current issues for policy makers and members of their staff. The speakers reflect upon historical events and developments that have influenced the evolution of current policies and provide knowledge pertinent to the consideration of policy alternatives.

2/22: Jonathan Schneer on “Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and the War Cabinet”

It seems impossible now to imagine Great Britain during World War Two being led by anyone other than Winston Churchill. It was not impossible at the time, however, as Jonathan Schneer will show in this presentation. Moreover, despite a legend to the contrary that has been burnished over many years, Churchill had to manage a War Cabinet most of whose members never ceased to snipe at one another and at him, even as they faced the common foe.

Jonathan Schneer is the modern British historian at Georgia Tech. He has written seven books, including London 1900: the Imperial Metropolis, The Thames: England’s River, and The Balfour Declaration: the Origins of Arab Israeli Conflict (which won a 2010 National Jewish Book Award and was declared a book of the year by the New Statesman and the Irish Times), as well as many articles, essays and reviews in scholarly and popular publications. His presentation at the Washington History Seminar will be based upon his most recent book, Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet.

The seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See www.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support. Reservations requested because of limited seating.

1/29: Congressional Briefing on the History of Political Partisanship

The National History Center of the American Historical Association is pleased to announce our upcoming Congressional briefing. Brian Balogh of the University of Virginia and Joanne Freeman of Yale University will discuss the history of political partisanship in the United States from the antebellum period to the present. Donald A. Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the Senate, will moderate the discussion.

The briefing will be held on Friday, January 29th, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Cannon House Office Building Room 121, Washington, DC.  Light refreshments will be served.

To learn more about the presenters, please visit our briefing webpage.

RSVPs are requested. To RSVP, please email Amanda Moniz at amoniz@historians.org.

11/30: Serhii Plokhii on “The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine”

Ukraine is currently embroiled in a tense battle with Russia to preserve its economic and political independence. But today’s conflict is only the latest in a long history of battles over Ukraine’s existence as a separate nation. Situated between Central Europe and Russia, Ukraine was shaped by the empires that have used it as a strategic gateway between East and West—from the Romans and Ottomans to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, all have engaged in global fights for supremacy on Ukrainian soil. Serhii Plokhii provides a unique insight into the current crisis by examining main trends in Ukraine’s longue durée history.

Serhii Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. A leading authority on the history of Eastern Europe, he has published extensively in English, Ukrainian and Russian. Plokhii is the author of several influential monographs, including Yalta: The Price of Peace (2010); The Cossack Myth: History and Nationhood in the Age of Empires (2012), and The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union (2014). Plokhii’s books won numerous awards, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs, and Pushkin House (London) Russian Book Prize (2015). Plokhii’s most recent book, The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine will be released by the Basic Books and Penguin in November 2015.

Please also consider attending “Building an Education Marshall Plan for Ukraine,” hosted by the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute from 2:30pm-3:30pm.

The seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See www.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.  Reservations requested because of limited seating.