Events & exhibitions
event • Fellows' Presentation

Talk to Me: Two Nations, Coup, and Democracy

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023
    12 PM ET
  • Online on Zoom
Portrait of Rich Benjamin
Photo by Tony Rinaldo

A presentation from 2023–2024 Walter Jackson Bate Fellow Rich Benjamin

Benjamin is completing an intimate and large-scale portrait of post–Cold War America. This lecture delivers a cultural and historical examination of capitalism, democracy, and the Cold War, through the lens of geopolitics and the historical figure Daniel Fignolé. A spellbinding orator and one-time president of Haiti, he was one of the most charismatic, popular figures in that country’s history—Haiti’s own Juan Perón or Huey Long. But in June 1957, just weeks into his presidency, Fignolé was ousted in a CIA-backed coup, which brought to power one of the 20th century’s bloodiest dictators. And so, this lecture considers also critical, foundational questions about this country’s own modern body politic, ranging from “Eisenhower’s America” to the age of Trumpism.

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