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The John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy

The Decline of the West?




"The Decline of the West?" is the theme of the 1988-1989 lecture series presented by the the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy. Saul Bellow, the Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor, will inaugurate the series at a lecture entitled, "An American Writer Looks at Himself," in Breasted Hall on Wednesday, October 5, at 4:00.

Allan Bloom and Nathan Tarcov, co-directors of the Olin Center, describe the lecture series as a study of whether the myriad recent assessments of the decline of the West are accurate and what visions of the future are available to us. It should address both shifts in the political, economic, and military balance of power and the current status of the unifying principles of what has been understood as the West.

Other speakers during the year include George Walden (M.P.) on October 19, Helmut Sonnenfeldt (Brookings Institution) on November 16, Werner Dannhauser (Cornell University), on November 30, Myron Rush (Cornell University) on January 18, Francis Fukuyama (Rand Corporation) on February 8, and Alvin Bernstein (Naval War College) on February 15. Their Wednesday lectures will be held at 4:00 in Social Sciences 122.

Lecture Series Schedule

October 5Saul Bellow
University of Chicago
"An American Author Looks at Himself"
October 19George Walden
Former British Minister for Higher Education
"Peaceful Co-Amnesia: The Alternative Route to Oblivion?"
November 16Helmut Sonnenfeldt
The Brookings Institution
"The Decline of the West: Myth, Reality, or Some of Each?"
November 30Werner Dannhauser
Department of Government, Cornell University
"Spengler Revisited"

January 18Myron Rush
Department of Government, Cornell University
"The Gorbachev Reforms: Escape from Decline?
or on the Path to the Decline of the West?"
February 8Francis Fukuyama
The Rand Corporation
"Are We Approaching The End of History?"
February 15Alvin Bernstein
Department of Strategy, Naval War College
"Declining Powers: Ancient and Modern"
March 1Richard Velkley
Department of Philosophy, Stonehill College
"On the Self-Undermining Character of Modern Philosophy"

April 26Hillel Fradkin
The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
"The Decline of the West? and the Jewish Question:
Leo Strauss as a Contemporary Jewish Thinker"
May 3Bernard Lewis
Annenberg Research Institute for Judaic and Near Eastern Studies
"Islam: The Intermediate Civilization"
May 17Walter Berns
Department of Government, Georgetown University
"The Decline of the Constitution"

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Revised: January 2nd, 2000