“United Nations and Palestine in 1947”: Lecture with Roger Louis

Wm. Roger Louis gave a lecture at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, July 16, 2008. The lecture, co-sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library and given in conjunction with the third international seminar on decolonization, was entitled “The Moral Conscience of the World: The United Nations and Palestine in 1947.” The lecture was webcasted by the Library and can be viewed here.

Professor Wm. Roger Louis is the Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin is the author or editor of approximately 30 books, including
his recent book of collected essays, Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez and Decolonization. Louis is the founding director of the National History Center. He is also a member of the Scholars’ Council of the Library of Congress and currently the chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee. Professor Louis is a past president of the American Historical Association (2001).

This lecture examined the Palestine crisis of 1947 and the creation of the Jewish state in the next year marked the beginning of a critical episode in the changing colonial world order. The question of partition tested the principle of self-determination. The debate on these issues in 1947 had enduring significance. In the context of the dissolution of the British Empire, the United Nations played a vital part in the creation of the state of Israel.

Questions and answers followed the presentation.

Also as part of the seminar, Dane Kennedy gave a lecture on Decolonization and Disorder on July 9.