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Decolonizing Perspectives with Fredrik Logevall


Fredrik Logevall, Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs and History at Harvard University.


January 30, 2024, 6:00 - 7:00pm


Dr. Fredrik Logevall joins the “French-American Histories, One Story, Two Narratives” series for a conversation on French-American relations in times of decolonization.

“French-American Histories, One Story, Two Narratives” is a series of virtual talks launched by Villa Albertine, in collaboration with the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA.

Hosted by Dr. Iris de Rode, a historical expert of French-American relations, each episode reveals a different facet of the vibrant French-American tapestry, through interviews with leading scholars, experts, and practitioners. The interviews will be broadcasted live and recorded monthly at the French Embassy and other locations in the United States.

In February, we are thrilled to welcome Fredrik Logevall for an episode focusing on French-American relations in times of decolonization.

Decolonizing Perspectives: A Conversation with Fredrik Logevall

The era of decolonization witnessed a complex relationship between France and the United States, characterized by a blend of cooperation, tension, and diverging interests. France, facing the challenges of relinquishing its colonial holdings in Vietnam and Algeria, sought to retain its influence and control in its former territories.

This often led to friction with the United States, which generally supported the ideals of self-determination and national liberation. However, the United States’ approach to decolonization was not always consistent, as it considered its own strategic and economic interests in the global context.

Despite these tensions, France and the United States also maintained significant cooperation, particularly in areas of economic aid, military cooperation, and diplomatic relations. This intricate relationship between the two countries during decolonization encapsulated the complexities of post-colonial transitions, global power dynamics, and the struggle to balance national interests with the ideals of self-determination.

Fredrik Logevall is the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs and History at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of eleven books, including most recently “JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956” (Random House, 2020), which won the Elizabeth Longford Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His book “Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam” (Random House, 2012), won the Pulitzer Prize for History, the Parkman Prize, the Arthur Ross Book Award, and the American Library in Paris Book Award.

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