April 01, 2005

Pulitzer Prize-winning author to speak at SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery


CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman will share his insights on foreign affairs at a lecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale next month.

Friedman will speak at 8 p.m. Monday, April 11, at Shryock Auditorium. The event is free. After the lecture Friedman will sign copies of his latest book, "The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century," at University Museum. Copies of the book, scheduled for release Tuesday, April 5, will be available at the event.

Friedman, the newspaper's foreign affairs columnist, received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, the third Pulitzer of his career. He previously received the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for his coverage of the Middle East in 1983 from Lebanon, and again in 1988 from Israel.

"We feel extremely fortunate to host one of the premier journalists in the world," Public Policy Institute Director Mike Lawrence said. "I am confident those who attend Tom Friedman's lecture will benefit tremendously from his informed, insightful perspective on international affairs – particularly with respect to the Middle East."

Friedman's visit is presented by the Public Policy Institute, and sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. His appearance is significant, said Public Policy Institute Assistant Director Matt Baughman.

"We are particularly pleased to host Mr. Friedman on campus because he accepts very few speaking engagements each year," Baughman said. "The Institute is fortunate to have generous donors who make programs of this quality possible as free, public lectures."

Friedman's newspaper career dates back to 1978 when he spent a year in London as a general assignment reporter for the London bureau of United Press International. He was then dispatched by UPI to Beirut where he spent two years before being hired by the New York Times.

Friedman started as a general assignment financial reporter specializing in OPEC and oil-related news. He named Beirut bureau chief in 1982 and arrived six weeks before the Israeli invasion, and in 1984, moved to Jerusalem to be the Times' Israel bureau chief. His 1989 New York Times' bestseller, "From Beirut to Jerusalem" won the National Book Award for non-fiction.

Friedman then moved to the newspaper's Washington D.C. bureau – where over a five-year period he held positions as its chief correspondent for diplomatic, White House and international economic coverage.

In 1995 Friedman became the newspaper's Foreign Affairs columnist, only the fifth person to hold that post in the paper's history.

Friedman's 2000 book, "The Lexus and the Olive Tree," won the Overseas Press Club award for best non-fiction book on foreign policy and has been published in 27 languages. He also wrote the 2002 book, "Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism."

Freidman graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brandeis University in 1975 with a degree in Mediterranean Studies. He attended St. Antony's College, Oxford University, on a Marshall Scholarship. He received a master's degree in Middle East Studies from Oxford in 1978.

For more information contact the Public Policy Institute at 618/453-4009.