Presentation at Wisconsin

I’m just back from a short trip to Wisconsin where I gave a presentation on some of my WWII work on intelligence and the OSS. Being that this was Madison, I titled it “Arthur Robinson and the Creation of America’s First Spy Agency.” I was very pleased to be invited to Madison and the talk went very well with lots of good questions afterwards, and at the reception and dinner that followed it.

Although I wanted to trace the work of the OSS and especially its Map Division headed up by Robinson, I also wanted to reflect more broadly on the relationship between intelligence and outside experts such as scientists and scholars. This is a very important and problematic area, it seems to me, but one which is hard to know about directly (hence work on the OSS where the records are at least now unclassified).

The talk was part of the Yi-Fu Tuan Lecture Series and I met the man himself while there for the first time.

(Thanks to Melanie McCalmont for the pictures.)

Thanks to everybody who hosted me while there, especially Tanya and Bill Buckingham, and members of the department who made me welcome and with whom I had a chance to chat, including Chris Olds, Samer Alatout, Ian Baird, Bob Kaiser, Rob Roth, A-Xing Zhu, Karen Tuerk, Jude Leimer, Beth Freundlich, Howard Veregrin and Keith Woodward. Also to the grad students who attended the brown bag on WikiLeaks and who went for lunch afterwards (a very sensible arrangement!). I left with a positive impression of a really good department.

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