James Blight and janet Lang

Brown University

Jim Blight is the chair of Foreign Policy Development at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and professor at the University of Waterloo’s Balsillie School of International Affairs. He developed a method of inquiry called critical oral history, which makes use of memories of key decision makers, scholars and their research, and declassified documents to generate new data and interpretations of events. He is the author of a dozen books on the recent history of U.S. foreign policy, including The Armageddon Letters: Kennedy, Khrushchev, Castro in the Cuban Missile Crisis (with janet Lang, Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), Sad and Luminous Days: Cuba’s Struggle with the Superpowers after the Missile Crisis (with Philip Brenner, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), Cuba on the Brink: Castro, the Missile Crisis, and the Soviet Collapse (with David A. Welch, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), Wilson’s Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing and Catastrophe in the 21st Century (with Robert S. McNamara, PublicAffairs, 2001), and Argument Without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy (with Robert S. McNamara and Robert K. Brigham, PublicAffairs, 1999). Blight has also served as a consultant on several documentary film projects with many domestic and foreign broadcast organizations and individual filmmakers. Blight co-produced the 2008 documentary film, Virtual JFK: Vietnam if Kennedy Had Lived.

janet Lang is a research professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She holds PhDs in both experimental psychology and epidemiology and over the past 15 years has also served as co-director with Professor James G. Blight of critical oral history projects on the Cuban missile crisis, the collapse of U.S.-Soviet détente in the Carter-Brezhnev period, and the American war in Vietnam. She has done work on the method of critical oral history, which makes use of memories of key decision makers, scholars and their research, and declassified documents to generate new data and interpretations of events. She is author or co-author of many articles deriving from these projects, including the seminal piece, “The Burden of Nuclear Responsibility: Reflections on the Critical Oral History of the Cuban Missile Crisis” (with J.G. Blight, in Peace and Conflict, 1995). Professors Lang and Blight co-produced the 2008 documentary film, Virtual JFK: Vietnam if Kennedy Had Lived, and co-authored The Armageddon Letters: Kennedy, Khrushchev, Castro in the Cuban Missile Crisis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).

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