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May 18, 2021

Paul Simon Institute to host virtual event with Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer

CARBONDALE, Ill. – John Gaddis – a historian, professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author – will join Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute for a virtual discussion at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 25.

Gaddis – whom the New York Times has called the “dean of Cold War historians” – and institute director John Shaw will discuss the challenge of developing and implementing an American grand strategy for foreign policy, as well as the art of biography writing.

Gaddis is the Robert A. Lovett professor of military and naval history at Yale University, and he is a distinguished fellow at the school’s Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy. He received the National Humanities Medal in 2005 and won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for biography for his book “George F. Kennan: An American Life.”

“Professor Gaddis is one of the most respected diplomatic historians in the United States and a world-class biographer,” Shaw said. “He will help us understand American foreign policy and the craft of rendering a life through biography.”

The event, which will be broadcast live on Zoom, is free and open to the public, but registration is required at

The conversation is part of the institute’s Understanding Our New World virtual series with policy experts, political analysts, historians and authors.