Dexter Filkins is one of the most respected combat journalists of his generation. His 2008 book, The Forever War, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book and was named a best book of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time and the Boston Globe. As part of a team of New York Times reporters, Filkins won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for dispatches from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In this lecture from the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB, Filkins retraces the seven years he spent covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, using vivid images by some of the best photojournalists working today. Filkins’ intimate knowledge of many of the main actors – American, Iraqi and Afghan – in two of the most polarizing wars in American history, gives him a unique perspective on these contemporary conflicts.
For better or for worse, we live in a time of history-making moments, especially in the Middle East. Our long-running UC Berkeley series “Conversations with History” has been recording the voices of those making and uncovering history for more than 500 episodes and the latest installment, “Libya in a Time of Revolution,” is no exception.
Host Harry Kreisler welcomes war correspondent Lindsey Hilsum, who offers her first-person account of the revolution in Libya that toppled the dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In this fascinating interview, Hilsum, who chronicles her adventure in the book Sandstorm, discusses Gaddafi’s 40-year reign of terror and his role as an international actor. She then traces the factors that led to his fall, emphasizing Libyan nationalism, the Arab spring and the intervention of external powers, and analyzes the role of journalists in the continuing worldwide struggle for human dignity. Hilsum concludes with a discussion of what she learned from her experiences in the country and speculates on Libya’s future and how external intervention can bring about change in places like Syria.