Wednesday, March 10, 2010

[350] Theodore Roosevelt's Conservation Efforts Focus Of MTSU's Windham Lecture Featuring Award-Winning Author Doug Brinkley

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919, or

Community Encouraged to Attend Free & Open April 8 Lecture Event on Campus

(MURFREESBORO)—Dr. Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University and a fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, has been announced as the guest speaker for the 19th annual Windham Lecture at MTSU.
An award-winning author of numerous titles, Brinkley’s talk, “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America,” will get under way at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.
During the lecture, which is free and open to the public, Brinkley will lead a discussion based on his epic biography of Roosevelt, drawing on never-before-published materials to examine the life and achievements of America’s "naturalist president."
By setting aside more than 230 million acres of wild America for posterity between 1901 and 1909, Roosevelt made conservation a universal endeavor. This crusade for the American wilderness was perhaps the greatest U.S. presidential initiative between the Civil War and World War I, Brinkley has observed.
Dr. John McDaniel, dean of MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts, said, “As we face the problems of global warming, overpopulation and sustainable land management, Dr. Brinkley shows audiences how this imposing leader's stout resolution to protect our environment is an inspiration and a contemporary call to arms for us all.”
Guest lecturer Brinkley completed his bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University and received his doctorate in U.S. diplomatic history from Georgetown University in 1989. Next, he spent a year at the U.S. Naval Academy and Princeton University teaching history.
While a professor at Hofstra University, Brinkley spearheaded the American Odyssey course, wherein he took students on numerous cross-country treks to visit historic sites and met seminal figures in politics and literature. His 1994 book, The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey, chronicled his first experience teaching this innovative, on-the-road class that became the progenitor of C-SPAN’s yellow school bus.
Five of Brinkley’s books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of
the Year: Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years (1992); Driven Patriot: The Life and Times of James Forrestal, with Townsend Hoopes (1992); The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House (1998); Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company and a Century of Progress (2003) and The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2006).
Moreover, The Great Deluge was the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy prize and a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Award; plus, six of his most recent publications have become New York Times bestsellers, including The Reagan Diaries (2007), The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion (2005), Tour of

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Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War (2004), Voices of Valor: D-Day: June 6, 1944, with Ronald J. Drez (2004) and The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2009).
Prior to joining the faculty at Rice University, Brinkley served as a professor of history and director of the Roosevelt Center at Tulane University in New Orleans. From 1994 to 2005, he was the Stephen E. Ambrose Professor of History and director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans. During his tenure there he wrote two books with the late Professor Ambrose; namely, Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938 (1997) and The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana Purchase to Today (2002).
On the literary front, Brinkley has edited Jack Kerouac’s diaries, Hunter S. Thompson’s letters and Theodore Dreiser’s travelogue. His work on civil rights includes
Rosa Parks (2000) and the forthcoming Portable Civil Rights Reader.
The recipient of honorary doctorates from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., Brinkley is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, The Los Angeles Times Book Review and American Heritage and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly.

About the Windham Lecture Series

The Windham Lecture Series in Liberal Arts was established by William and Westy Windham through the MTSU Foundation. Dr. William Windham was a member of the MTSU faculty from 1955 to 1989 and served as chairman of the Department of History the last 11 years. Westy Windham (1927-1991) earned a master's degree in sociology at MTSU and was the founder of Great American Singalong.
The inaugural Windham Lecture in 1990 featured Drs. Dan T. Carter of Emory University and Dewey W. Grantham of Vanderbilt University, who spoke on “The South and the Second Reconstruction.” Since then, the Windham Lectures have addressed topics spanning from American music to presidential rhetoric to gambling to U.S. foreign policy, to name a few.
The Windham series is sponsored annually by the College of Liberal Arts, with the assistance of the assorted departments within the college.
• For more information, please contact the College of Liberal Arts at MTSU at 615-494-7628.


• ATTENTION, MEDIA—To secure a jpeg of Doug Brinkley for editorial use, please e-mail your request to Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs at MTSU at or call 615-898-2919.

With three Nobel Prize winners among its alumni and former faculty, Middle Tennessee State University confers master’s degrees in 10 areas, the Specialist in Education degree, the Doctor of Arts degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. MTSU is ranked among the top 100 public universities in the nation in the Forbes “America’s Best Colleges” 2009 survey.

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