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Benson to Discuss Truman and Israel as Guest Lecturer

October 21, 2008
Category: Administration


SUU President Michael T. Benson will be the first lecturer featured at the "Israel: 60 Years Photographic Exhibit," presented by the Jewish Federation of Utah in cooperation with the Office of Mayor Ralph Becker.

President Benson’s lecture, The American Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel, will take place in the third floor Council Chambers of the Salt Lake City & County Building Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 7:45 p.m. A Q&A will follow his remarks. The lecture is open to the public at no charge.

A devotee of the achievements and character of Harry S. Truman, Benson wrote his dissertation at Oxford University in England on the former U.S. president. Published in 1997 to rave reviews, "Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel" is considered a landmark work in the area of U.S. foreign policy and presidential history.

According to Ted Wilson, former Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, the book “is an absolute winner. Besides excellent research and lively readability, Michael Benson's book is a wonderful primer of practical politics as seen through the life and career of Harry S. Truman, among the most powerful decision- makers in the history of politics. Truman himself would be proud of Benson's down-to-earth and straightforward discussion.”

The youngest college or university president in the history of the Utah System of Higher Education and a full professor at the SUU Department of Political Science, Benson earned his B.A, from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in modern Middle Eastern history from the University of Oxford. As an expert in Middle Eastern history, he serves as an academic advisor and essayist for the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and as a consulting historian and essayist for the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. A frequent speaker on the modern Middle East and contributor to newspapers and other publications, he leads an annual tour to Israel and Egypt.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel, the Utah Jewish Federation, in cooperation with the Office of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, is hosting the exhibit of historic photographs, "Israel: 60 Years" in the City & County Building. The exhibit runs from October 17-December 13, 2008. Dr. Michael Mattis of Art2Art (art2art.org) curated the photographs from the archives of the acclaimed Magnum Photographers’ Cooperative founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, David “Chim” Seymour and George Rodger. The exhibit is open to the public at no charge Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon-5 p.m.

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