Pulitzer-Winning Historian to Commemorate 60th JFK Assassination Anniversary with Lecture on UE campus


EVANSVILLE, IND. (11/07/2023) The University of Evansville’s Department of History, Politics, and Social Change is proud to welcome Dr. Fredrik Logevall for the 21st annual Thomas C. Fiddick Memorial Lecture. The Lecture will be in Eykamp Hall in the Ridgway University Center at UE on Friday, November 10 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

John F. Kennedy was one of the iconic political figures of the 20th century, a man known around the world by his initials, and tragically assassinated sixty years ago. From a young age, Kennedy had been fascinated by the nature and demands of leadership, especially in a democracy, and by the nature of political courage. Later, as a U.S. senator, he wondered aloud about how elected officials could reconcile their sense of the national interests with the often capricious demands of their constituents. The question, Kennedy suggested, went to the core of democratic governance. How should we consider JFK and his role in American and world politics, particularly during this time of rising threats to democracy both at home and abroad? In the 21st annual Thomas C. Fiddick Memorial Lecture, Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard historian Fredrik Logevall will mark the 60th anniversary of JFK’s death by exploring Kennedy’s consequential leadership and why it matters for our current moment.

Dr. Fredrik Logevall is the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs and Professor of History at Harvard University. He is a specialist in U.S. politics and foreign policy. Logevall was previously the Stephen and Madeline Anbinder Professor of History at Cornell University, where he also served as vice provost and as director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. He won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam. His most recent book, JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956 (2020), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. It has been called “An utterly incandescent study of one of the most consequential figures of the twentieth century” and “a powerful, provocative, and above all compelling book.” Logevall’s essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, Daily Beast, and Foreign Affairs, among other publications.

“Professor Legevall is one of the world’s leading historians of John F Kennedy and it is an enormous privilege to bring him to the University of Evansville to deliver the 2023 Fiddick Lecture and interact with students in class,” said Dr James MacLeod, UE professor of history and director of the Fiddick Memorial Lecture Series. “Given the fact that the lecture will mark 60 years since JFK’s untimely death, and Tom Fiddick’s lifelong interest in the study of Kennedy, this lecture topic is particularly appropriate.”

Thomas C. Fiddick, for whom the Fiddick Memorial Lecture is named, served as professor of history at the University of Evansville from 1963 to 2002. In his 39 years at the University, he was a dedicated teacher, a productive scholar, and a tireless fighter in the cause of justice. His book, Russia’s Retreat from Poland, 1920: From Permanent Revolution to Peaceful Coexistence, is still considered to be the best book on this topic. Tom’s untimely death on the day of his retirement in 2002 stunned the entire UE community, especially his many former students. It was from the former students’ efforts in particular, with the support of Dr Fiddick’s friends and the University, that the annual Thomas C. Fiddick Memorial Lecture was established.

“For over twenty years, the Fiddick Lecture has been one of the best events of the year, as we get to celebrate the career of a truly outstanding faculty member here at UE,” MacLeod added. “Tom Fiddick was a wonderful friend, a brilliant scholar and an incredible teacher who made a life-transforming impact on generations of students.”