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Donald Kagan, Renowned Scholar, Author, and Classicist, to Deliver the 2005 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 22, 2005) -- Donald Kagan, Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University and author of numerous books and articles on Greek history and international relations, will deliver the 2005 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today. The annual NEH-sponsored Jefferson Lecture is the highest honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

“Through his many influential books on the history of the classical world, Donald Kagan illuminates the foundations of modern civilization for students and other readers,” said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. “And with lessons offered by the ancient Greeks, he provides both compelling analysis of modern international affairs and clear evidence for the importance of knowing history.”

Kagan will present the 34th Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities on Thursday, May 12, 2005, at 7:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C. The lectureship carries a $10,000 honorarium.

Since 1969 Kagan has taught at Yale, and during his tenure there he has served as chairman and later acting chairman of the Classics Department, master of Timothy Dwight College, acting director of athletics, and dean of Yale College.

Kagan is known for his scholarship on war in the classical world and his commentary on the challenges faced by contemporary America. As dean of Yale College from 1989-92, he was a nationally prominent advocate for a core curriculum. He is the author of a celebrated four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War. His recent books include Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy (1991), On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace (1995), While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion, Military Weakness, and the Threat to Peace Today (2000, with Frederick W. Kagan), and The Peloponnesian War (2003), a one-volume history of the war. He also has published numerous articles and commentary for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Public Interest.

Born in Lithuania in 1932, Kagan earned his bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College, his master's degree in classics from Brown University, and his doctoral degree in history from Ohio State University in 1958. He also holds honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from the University of New Haven and Adelphi University. Before coming to Yale in 1969, Kagan held faculty positions at Pennsylvania State University and Cornell University. From 1988-93, Kagan served as a member of the National Council on the Humanities. He has won numerous awards and fellowships, including four teaching awards at Cornell and Yale. President George W. Bush also presented him with a 2002 National Humanities Medal. He currently lives in Hamden, Conn., with his wife, Myrna.

Attendance at the lecture is by invitation and free. Those interested in receiving an invitation should call (202) 606-8400 or send an e-mail message to info@neh.gov.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Office of Communications at (202) 606-8446 or info@neh.gov