Apr 6, 2006    #049
Contact: Michelle Hopkins

Twenty-three historians from around the world

Twenty-three eminent historians from around the world, charged with writing a new history of the Cold War, will convene in Kansas City on Thursday, March 30 to begin their work.

Scholars from China, Japan, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia will join American colleagues in this work of reinterpreting the Cold War. Melvyn P. Leffler of the University of Virginia and Odd Arne Westad of the London School of Economics, who are the general editors of the Cambridge History of the Cold War, have assembled this team of scholars.

The “Conference for the Creation of an International History of the Cold War,” a four-day long convention, will offer two events that are open to the public. The first, a panel discussion titled “The Cold War in International History,” will be held at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (Stack Auditorium, Royall Hall, Room 111, 800 East 52nd Street) on Thursday March 30, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Dr. Leffler will speak at this event, which is free and no registration is required.

The second public event is a colloquium, titled “The Origins of the Cold War: An International Interpretation.” It will be held on the second floor of UMKC’s Administrative Conference Center, 5115 Oak Street, on Friday, March 31, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This event is also free, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, call the Central Ticket Office, 816-235-6222. Dr. Westad will speak.

The Cold War ended over ten years ago, and documents from the archives of the former Soviet Union and its allies have increasingly become available to historians. The history of the Cold War can now be written from a multilateral perspective that includes the actions and deliberations from many of the countries involved. The 23 historians taking part in the Conference will collaborate to write the first volume of the Cambridge History of the Cold War, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2009.

“It takes a long time to attain perspective and a good understanding of the important events we live through,” Truman Library director Michael Devine said. “Only now, sixty years after the beginning of the Cold War, and fifteen years since its end, can historians begin the task of writing a history which presents the Cold War as the immensely complex global phenomenon it was. The historians who are coming together for this conference are among the best in the world, and they’ll produce an interpretation that will endure for a generation at least.”

For more information about the conference, and documents, photographs, oral history interviews, and lesson plans relating to the Cold War, visit

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of 11 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Truman Library is assisted in presenting programs such as this one by its non-profit partner, the Harry S. Truman Library Institute for National and International Affairs.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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