Mason Author Series: General Michael V. Hayden

Join the University Libraries for a discussion with General Michael V. Hayden about his book, Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror, on Thursday, May 4 at 3 p.m. in the Fenwick Library Main Reading Room.

For General Michael Hayden, playing to the edge means playing so close to the line that you get chalk dust on your cleats. Otherwise, by playing back, you may protect yourself, but you will be less successful in protecting America. “Play to the edge” was Hayden’s guiding principle when he ran the National Security Agency, and it remained so when he ran the CIA.  In his view, many shortsighted and uninformed people are quick to criticize, and this book will give them much to chew on but little easy comfort; it is an unapologetic insider’s look told from the perspective of the people who faced awesome responsibilities head on, in the moment.

How did American intelligence respond to terrorism, a major war and the most sweeping technological revolution in the last 500 years?  What was the NSA before 9/11 and how did it change in its aftermath?  Why did the NSA begin the controversial terrorist surveillance program that included the acquisition of domestic phone records? What else was set in motion during this period that formed the backdrop for the infamous Snowden revelations in 2013?

For 10 years, General Michael Hayden was a participant in some of the most telling events in the annals of American national security. General Hayden’s goals in writing this book are simple and unwavering: No apologies. No excuses. Just what happened. And why. As he writes, “There is a story here that deserves to be told, without varnish and without spin. My view is my view, and others will certainly have different perspectives, but this view deserves to be told to create as complete a history as possible of these turbulent times. I bear no grudges, or at least not many, but I do want this to be a straightforward and readable history for that slice of the American population who depend on and appreciate intelligence, but who do not have the time to master its many obscure characteristics.”

General and Distinguished Visiting Professor Michael Hayden is a retired four-star general who served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency — the only person to helm both agencies— during a time of heinous new threats and wrenching change. In addition to leading CIA and NSA, General Hayden was the country’s first principal deputy director of national intelligence and the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the country.  He also served as commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center and served in senior staff positions at the Pentagon, at US European Command, at the National Security Council, and the US Embassy in Bulgaria. He was also the deputy chief of staff for the United Nations Command and US Forces in South Korea. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group and a distinguished visiting professor at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government.

Presentation: Missing Out on Innovation

Missing Out on Innovation: African-American Teens & Technology

DR. KEVIN CLARK, DIRECTOR
CENTER FOR DIGITAL MEDIA INNOVATION & DIVERSITY
APRIL 27    1:30 – 2:30 P.M.    MAIN READING ROOM    2001 FENWICK

Based on a new national survey, young African-Americans may be missing out on key opportunities to learn to code, develop apps and software, and innovate with technology. Sponsored by Mason Libraries, Dr. Kevin Clark will speak about his recent research on African-American teens and digital innovations on Thursday, April 27, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Main Reading Room, 2001 Fenwick. The hour-long presentation includes a question and answer session.

Dr. Clark is a professor in Mason’s College of Education and Human Development, and is also the Director of Mason’s Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity.

For more information, please contact Andrew Lee, yli7 at gmu.edu

Mason Author Series: Jennifer Ritterhouse

Join the University Libraries for the book launch of Discovering the South: One Man’s Travels Through a Changing America in the 1930s on Wednesday, April 26 at 3 p.m. in the Fenwick Library Main Reading Room.

During the Great Depression, the American South was not merely “the nation’s number one economic problem,” as President Franklin Roosevelt declared. It was also a battlefield on which forces for and against social change were starting to form. For a white southern liberal like Jonathan Daniels, editor of the Raleigh News and Observer, it was a fascinating moment to explore. Attuned to culture as well as politics, Daniels knew the true South lay somewhere between Erskine Caldwell’s Tobacco Road and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. On May 5, 1937, he set out to find it, driving thousands of miles in his trusty Plymouth and ultimately interviewing even Mitchell herself.

In Discovering the South, historian Jennifer Ritterhouse pieces together Daniels’s unpublished notes from his tour along with his published writings and a wealth of archival evidence to put this one man’s journey through a South in transition into a larger context. Daniels’s well chosen itinerary brought him face to face with the full range of political and cultural possibilities in the South of the 1930s, from New Deal liberalism and social planning in the Tennessee Valley Authority, to Communist agitation in the Scottsboro case, to planters’ and industrialists’ reactionary worldview and repressive violence. The result is a lively narrative of black and white southerners fighting for and against democratic social change at the start of the nation’s long civil rights era.

Visit the author’s website for more about the project.

Jennifer Ritterhouse is associate professor of history at George Mason University. She is the author of Growing Up Jim Crow: How Black and White Southern Children Learned Race and several articles; editor of a reprint edition of Sarah Patton Boyle’s autobiography, The Desegregated Heart: A Virginian’s Stand in Time of Transition; and co-editor of Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South. She teaches classes on the 20th-century US, the South, cultural history, and research methods.

The University Libraries’ Mason Author Series features Mason faculty and alumni authors throughout the year, and is generously sponsored by the University Bookstore. Upcoming readings include Distinguished Visiting Professor Michael Hayden on May 4.

For more information about the Mason Author Series, please contact John Warren, Head, Mason Publishing, publishing.gmu.edu

 

Exploratory Analysis of Historic Document Collections

Dr. Dieter Pfoser of George Mason’s Geography and GeoInformation department will present on his latest project with the National Archives’ Founders Online database and describe his process for creating interactive maps and visualizations from correspondence collections. The lecture will be held on Monday, April 24, 3:30 p.m, Main Reading Room, Fenwick Library.

The presentation is sponsored by University Libraries’ Digital Humanities Working Group. For more information, please contact George Oberle, History Librarian, goberle at gmu.edu