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Editor's Pick: Lectures

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Montgomery Fellows Lectures

Montgomery Fellows Joan Didion and John Abizaid will present their public lectures in the series, "America in 2008: Perspectives and Reflections." For information, call 646-4062.

"An Afternoon with Joan Didion"
Book signing to follow lecture

  • Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 4:30 p.m.
  • Moore Hall, Filene Auditorium
Joan Didion

Joan Didion won the National Book Award in 2005 for The Year of Magical Thinking (Knopf, 2005).  In this book and the subsequent play, Didion turns on herself the critical eye and clear voice that fill seven earlier books of nonfiction and five novels, as well as essays and screenplays. Magical Thinking-a study of grief, memory, loss, and control-recounts Didion's response to the sudden death of her husband and professional partner, the writer Gregory Dunne.

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, a volume collecting Didion's nonfiction from 1968 to 2003, was published in 2006 in Knopf's Everyman's Library series. She received the National Book Foundation's 2007 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in recognition of her outstanding achievements as a novelist and essayist. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, Didion is a perceptive critic of American culture and politics.

"The United States and the Middle East: Strategic Choices for the Way Ahead"

  • Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 4:30 p.m.
  • Moore Hall, Filene Auditorium
John Abizaid

John Abizaid is a retired U.S. Army general and the former commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM), which directs operations in a 27-country region covering the Middle East, East Africa, and Central Asia. VOX of Dartmouth asked Gen. Abizaid three questions in advance of his visit:

On the value of international education: "Foreign study abroad at the University of Jordan taught me much about a great people, a great religion, and a great culture. Bridging the cultural gaps of our planet today can do much to promote peace and harmony. But there can be no bridges built without mutual understanding. I very much encourage our young people today to take the time to study abroad."

Recommended reading? "Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower.  It made a very distinct impression upon me about the people who are committed to Al Qaeda and our destruction. To understand our enemy, this is a great place to start."

What should voters ask the presidential candidates? "What is our strategy to lessen our dependence on imported oil, particularly Middle Eastern oil?"

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/17/08