Covert operations

Though a part of international politics for centuries, covert actions to induce changes to ruling governments — including assassinating a leader, orchestrating a coup d’état, or interfering in an election — are difficult to study due to their secretive nature. Using archival research of declassified U.S. governments documents, BC Assistant Professor of Political Science Lindsey A. O’Rourke has assembled an original dataset of all U.S.-backed regime change operations during the Cold War (1947-89) in her new book, Covert Regime Change: America’s Secret Cold War (Cornell University Press, 2018). She identifies 70 interventions, the majority of which were covert. More than half the time, the covert intervention failed to achieve its goal. O’Rourke uses this data to delve deeper into why states attempt foreign regime change, why they prefer to conduct the interventions covertly, and how successful such missions are in achieving foreign policy goals.

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Race and medicine

In Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, author Dr. Damon Tweedy explores issues such as bias in medicine, the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients. On Mar. 28 at 7 p.m. in Gasson 100, Dr. Tweedy will give a talk on the topics raised in his bestselling memoir. Dr. Tweedy is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine and is an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine and staff physician at the Durham Veteran Affairs Health System. He has published pieces about race and medicine in the New York TimesWashington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Raleigh News & Observer, as well as in various medical journals. Sponsor: Park Street Corporation Speaker Series. Read a Q&A with Dr. Tweedy in U.S. News & World Report.

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Dispatches from the border

Francisco Cantú, an agent for the United States Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012, will discuss his memoir, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border (Riverhead Books, 2018), on Mar. 27 at 7 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 100. The Line Becomes a River was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award and lauded as a top 10 book of the year by The Washington Post. Listen to an NPR interview with Cantú. Cantú is a former Fulbright fellow and recently earned an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Arizona. His essays and translations appear frequently in Guernica magazine, and his work appeared in The Best American Essays 2016, among other publications. Co-sponsors: Lowell Humanities Series and the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics. Read a Boston Globe Q&A with Cantú published earlier this month.

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Conclusion of the Saga of the Redeemed

The fourth and final installment of the Saga of the Redeemed, a fantasy book series created by Boston College alumnus Auston Habershaw, has been published. The Far Far Better Thing (Harper Voyager, 2019) tells the concluding chapter of Tyvian Reldamar’s story. Tyvian feigns death while a war is fought in his name against the warlord Banric Sahand. But circumstances bring Tyvian back into action. The only question is what remains when the smoke clears?

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Award for Oliveira

Motherhood across Borders: Immigrants and Their Children in Mexico and New York (NYU Press, 2018) by BC Lynch School Assistant Professor Gabrielle Oliveira has been honored with the inaugural Outstanding Ethnography in Education Book Award from the Ethnography in Education Research Forum. The award recognizes a book-length academic publication that draws on ethnographic inquiry into education. Read more about Oliveira and her book in this BC News story.

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In praise of floods

James C. Scott, director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University, will present “In Praise of Floods: The Study of Rivers and Civilization” on Mar. 20 at 7 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 100. Scott’s books include Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States,  Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist  History of Upland Southeast Asia, among other titles. A political scientist and anthropologist, Scott studies political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology at Yale, and has been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Sponsor: Lowell Humanities Series.

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Before and Again

Before and Again (St. Martin’s Press, 2018), the newest novel from best-selling author and Boston College alumna Barbara Delinsky, begins with a horrifying moment. While driving on an unfamiliar road, Mackenzie Cooper misses a stop sign. The resulting car accident kills her five-year-old daughter, and in the aftermath Mackenzie also loses her marriage, family, friends, and—thanks to intense media coverage—her privacy.  According to the publisher: “Before and Again is a story of the relationships we find ourselves in—mothers and daughters, spouses and siblings, true companions and fair-weather friends—and what kind of sacrifices we are or aren’t willing to make to sustain them through good times and bad.” Publishers Weekly calls Before and Again “deeply moving” and “a rewarding, emotionally intense novel.” Delinsky writes character-driven novels about marriage, parenthood, siblings, and friendship. She has had 22 books on the New York Times best sellers list, and her novels have been published in more than 25 languages worldwide.

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