Celebrating the life and career of Stanley Hoffmann

first_imgOne could measure Stanley Hoffmann’s achievements in book publications (more than 18), academic titles (University Professor, chair, co-founder of the Center for European Studies) or honors (Commandeur in the French Legion of Honor, to name one). But the broad smiles and teary eyes at the Center for European Studies last Friday (Dec. 5) indicated the true caliber of this man, a profound influence on five generations of students, colleagues, and friends.Hoffmann, Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor, has been teaching at Harvard since 1955. The eminent professor turned 80 on Nov. 27, and to honor him the Center for European Studies (CES) hosted a conference sponsored by the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, the Department of Government, and the Office of the Provost, and titled “Celebrating Stanley Hoffmann: American Foreign Policy, French Politics and the Dilemmas of International Relations.” The afternoon event drew a large, international crowd that included many of Hoffmann’s former students and numerous Harvard faculty members.“We’re here because of Stanley, this remarkable man — scholar, professor, public intellectual — but more than that, he has been a teacher, a friend, and a colleague,” said David Blackbourn, Coolidge Professor of History and director of CES, as he opened the conference.The celebration included two discussion panels inspired by Hoffmann’s writings, as well as a third panel dedicated to Hoffmann himself and his role as a scholar, teacher, and friend.During the first panel, titled “Issues in International Relations,” speakers discussed the idea of justice in war, the style of U.S. foreign policy, and the political and strategic dimensions of war. All of the topics were presented within the framework of Hoffmann’s scholarship.The second panel, “Dilemmas of Politics in France and Europe,” focused on the political and social challenges that France has faced in the modern era, again through the lens of Hoffmann’s writings. The panelists addressed the fragmented party system, the political style of current president Nicolas Sarkozy, and politics during the Vichy era of World War II.Though the first two panels focused on challenging political questions, they were peppered with affectionate and lighthearted anecdotes about Hoffmann. Speakers teased Hoffmann about his penchant for tripartite arguments, praised him for his commitment to morality, and admired the way he successfully wove personal experience into his political analyses.In the third panel, titled “Stanley Hoffmann: Scholar, Teacher, Friend,” four of Hoffmann’s former students and colleagues had the opportunity to further expound on his remarkable career and broad influence. Louise Richardson, executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute, spoke about Hoffmann’s unique relationship with her teenaged children, who have gotten to know him over dinners at the Richardson home. Though teenagers can be devastating in their critique of adults, she said, her children admire Hoffmann for his “sense of empathy, irreverence, sense of fun, and complete lack of regard for the rules.”“Like them,” she said, “he is happy to start with dessert.”Several of the speakers had, in their undergraduate years, enrolled in Hoffmann’s famed yearlong course Social Sciences 112. Known simply as “War,” the course had a remarkable impact, which many speakers still felt decades later.Michael Smith, Thomas C. Sorenson Professor of Political and Social Thought and associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia, recalled how Hoffmann’s course encouraged students to “imagine an intellectual world where critique is tempered by understanding.” He also poked fun at Hoffmann’s tendency to create lengthy syllabi.“Prodigious reading assignments were a trademark of Stanley’s courses,” Smith said. “There was always reading to do — a lot of reading to do — and by a quirk of the schedule that year, we had apparently two days to read ‘War and Peace.’”Gary Bass, associate professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton, praised Hoffmann for his kindness and commitment to undergraduate education, which he joked was rewarded by “occasional gifts of cashmere socks … and several hundred requests for letters of recommendation.” On a more serious note, Bass lauded Hoffmann’s efforts to develop socially conscious students.“Stanley demanded that we think of ourselves as being part of a wider society … that as idyllic and privileged as Harvard was, and as lucky and privileged as we were to be there … it was incumbent upon us to do something to help out,” he said.At the end of the conference, Hoffmann was given the opportunity to say a few words. With characteristic modesty, he started talking about other people — a student sitting in the audience, whose manuscript Hoffmann had recently read, the teachers and historians who had inspired him as a young scholar.Finally, though, Hoffmann addressed his own career.“I’ve enjoyed what I’ve been doing,” he said simply. “One of the nice things about Harvard is you can literally do what you like.”His words were met with a standing ovation — indicating that Harvard has enjoyed what Hoffmann’s been doing, too.last_img read more

ABS grants concept approval for HHI’s LNG fuel tank

first_imgAmerican Bureau of Shipping (ABS) granted a certificate of general design approval for an IMO Type B LNG fuel tank design developed by Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea.ABS Chairman, president and CEO Christopher Wiernick, said the approval represents the classification society’s “involvement in the expanding gas fuel market and further promotes the adoption of LNG as fuel.”HHI’s fuel tank design was conceptualized and developed to minimize the loss of cargo space and effectively use available area on board the vessel, ABS said in its statement on Monday.Targeting gas-fueled vessels, the conceptual fuel tank design is based on a 14,500 TEU containership design but can be sized for other ship types and sizes.“As industry continues to adjust to a changing regulatory climate, the use of LNG as fuel will continue to grow and be adopted in the marine industry,” ABS said.The classification society notes that developing vessels equipped with the latest technology and the most efficient fuel containment systems will be key to that growth.Speaking of the approval, HHI senior executive vice president, Yun-Sik Lee said the company has proved the feasibility of the Type B fuel tank concept as it moves closer to incorporating the design into new containerships.last_img read more

Portia stepping down as leader of Jamaica’s People National Party

first_imgPortia stepping down as leader of Jamaica’s People National PartyJamaica’s first female prime minister; current Leader of the Opposition and leader of the People’s National Party Portia Simpson Miller has announced she will be stepping down as the party’s president. She made the announcement that she will not be seeking re-election as party president next September to members of the PNP’s National Executive Council meeting on Sunday. She told the members “I will leave you as party leader but I will always be with you.”Announcement of Simpson’s Miller has received favorable response from several supporters of the PNP, one of Jamaica’s oldest political parties formed by Jamaican National Hero Norman Washington Manley in 1938. Over the past 10 months, the PNP has lost a General Election, on February 25, and a Local Government Election, on November 28, under Simpson Miller’s leadership.Calls for her resignation have been circling since the general election but Simpson Miller was reelected as party leader at the party’s annual conference after those elections. The calls, including from the party’s youth arm, the Peoples National Party Youth Organization (PNPYO), grew louder after the PNP’s defeat in the Local Government elections.The Party will now focus on identifying a suitable successor to Simpson Miller, one who can galvanize maximum support from party members nationwide, make the party a formidable opposition party, and prepare it to retake the reign of government when the next general elections are called, which is constitutionally due in February 2020. However, several analysts believe with the ruling Jamaica Labor Party having a majority of only one seat in the Jamaican parliament, the leader of the JLP and Prime Minister Andrew Holness could call elections earlier to try and secure a larger majority.Meanwhile, the PNP also has a new general secretary. On Sunday, the party’s deputy secretary Julian Robinson, MP for the St. Andrew South East Constituency took over the position of general secretary from Paul Burke who had like his party president, fallen out of favor with a large group of PNP supporters.Robinson is one of the party members whose name has been touted as a possible successor to Simpson Miller as Party leader. Other names being suggested are former finance minister Dr. Peter Phillips, former national security minister Peter Bunting, former mining and energy minister Phillip Paulwell and former sports and culture minister Lisa Hanna.Addressing members of the PNP’s National Executive Council on Sunday, Robinson told them “Challenges clearly exist……But as we restore our noble institution to strength and power, we must do so conscious of our movement’s roots, our established principles and the strong foundation upon which we must continue to build.”Robinson also said that as a party, comrades must “situate our ideology within the context of our current realities, without compromising our core values.” He cautioned the members that “there is much, much work to be done” to return the party to retake the government of Jamaica.last_img read more

Writer’s Block: Remembering Last Year’s Snow Day

first_img Share RelatedWriter’s Block: Snow Day!By DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] It was an early Christmas miracle — snow in the Rio Grande Valley! Early last week, local television forecasters began preparing the Valley for an incoming cold front. It would come in at the end of the week, they said, and drop temperatures…December 15, 2017In “Editor’s Column”SPI CHRISTMAS PARADE ROLLS OUT HOLIDAY CHEERBy Pamela Cody Special to the PRESS      With over 60 entries, the annual South Padre Island Christmas Parade delighted onlookers once again, as proud parents, residents and visitors lined the parade route to enjoy the festivities.      Beginning at Mars Street and finishing at the judge’s station located at the Padre…December 13, 2019In “Features”2017 — The Year That WasBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] People tend to become a bit reflective as a year begins to draw to a close, and that’s no exception inside the four walls of the Port Isabel – South Padre Press offices. So, what can I say about 2017? A lot happened…December 29, 2017In “Editor’s Column” By DINA ARÉVALOPort Isabel-South Padre [email protected] this very moment, as I sit at my desk typing this week’s column, I’m listening to the dulcet sounds of Bing Crosby as he croons, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”Feeling festive, and eager to partake in holiday cheer, I’ve been listening to the Classic Christmas station on Spotify most of the week. Silver Bells, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Santa Baby, Jingle Bell Rock, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! and a host of other holiday favorites have been filling my ears for the past couple of days.So, it wasn’t a surprise when White Christmas rolled up the queue. But, it was coincidental that it happened at the precise moment when my mind had begun to wander and I’d begun to reminisce about something that happened last December, a very relevant something which happened almost a year ago to the day, as a matter of fact.For it was on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, that the entire Rio Grande Valley got an early Christmas present. Snow.From Roma to Raymondville and San Juan to South Padre Island, a layer of white covered the landscape. Forecasters had been talking about the approaching Arctic blast for days. Temperatures would dip below freezing, they said. But, the moisture in the air would fail to coalesce into anything more interesting than frigid, sloppy rain.But, something changed between those first, tentative forecasts and the conditions that actually materialized in the overnight hours between Thursday and Friday. Like a jigsaw puzzle piece snapping into place, just so, all the right variables lined up in all the right ways that night. Instead of sloshy rain, we were treated to snow!Locally, Laguna Vista seemed to have gotten the most snow — and it stuck around a bit longer there, too. As I drove up and down the streets of the small town hoping to take photographs that captured the moment, I saw yards dotted with snowmen.And here and there, our native mesquite trees — known as a drought and heat tolerant species — looked rather majestic with layers of white dusting the tops of their sprawling branches. But, perhaps the oddest juxtaposition were the palms with their fronds laden with the white stuff.I laughed as I traveled down another street and saw a most disgruntled looking bird perched on a telephone wire that stretched across the lane. It was an osprey — a migratory species that likes to call the Valley home during the wintertime because of our usually balmier climate.He looked none too pleased as fat snowflakes landed and stuck on his shoulders. Poor guy probably didn’t get any fishing done that day. But, considering the bay’s normally sparkling turquoise waters had been frothed up into a frigid, chocolatey brown mess by the north wind, I didn’t blame him.As I trekked across the Causeway, that same wind buffeted my small car. The air was crisp, clear and fierce. And it was on the island where the snowfall picked back up again. There, it mixed with the relative warmth of the moisture coming off the Gulf to form thick, fat globs more so than individual snowflakes.Still, the breeze was stiff enough to keep them aloft, and they swirled around me like fuzzy confetti. I may or may not have tried to catch one on my tongue. Sometimes you just have to surrender to your inner childlike sense of wonder.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.last_img read more

Youth baseball clinic stresses athletic, academic skills

first_imgWHITTIER – Jesse Carmona recalls his disappointment last summer after hearing news that former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips was in trouble. Phillips, 31, a star at Baldwin Park High School as a teenager, had been arrested Aug. 21, 2005, for allegedly stealing a vehicle and days later driving into three teenagers who had gotten into an argument with him after a pickup football game. It was not the first time Carmona had heard of athletes’ troubles. “If Lawrence could have gone to college \, he would have been better. I’m getting tired of seeing too many kids not making it in life,” the 47-year-old Whittier resident said. Now, Carmona is on a mission to make sure young athletes understand that sports and academics go hand-in-hand. Talent won’t get anyone far if he or she lacks discipline and maturity, he said. Seven-year-old Garrett Bowe of Whittier has attended the local clinics every week since July 10. “You learn mechanics and how to improve your game. You stay focused and you have to pay attention, so it helps me learn on the field and in class,” Bowe said. Lyle Dodd of Whittier enrolled his two sons, Jacob, 12, and Noah, 10, in the clinics to help keep them active during the summer and to enhance their athletic skills. Dodd, a teacher, also has teamed with Carmona to serve as an academic resource for students. He said he’s often sat with students in the dugout during youth baseball games and helped them with their schoolwork. Carmona hopes Whittier Baseball Club motivates students to hone their athletic and academic skills for larger goals. His Web site also will connect athletes with information about pursuing a higher education, including getting financial aid and scholarships. “I see too many good athletes not accomplish their goals,” Carmona said. “Eighty-five percent of these kids don’t go on to college because … They don’t know what they need to do to get there.” “This opens kids up to all the opportunities life has to offer,” Dodd said. “They start to see school and sports as a vehicle to get somewhere, to do something with their life.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2He’s teamed up with youth baseball organizations, coaches and parent volunteers to launch the Whittier Baseball Club, an organization to help children with good athletic skills while having an emphasis on education. Whittier Baseball Club is also an online network resource for other baseball players and coaches. The club’s Web site – www.whittierbaseballklub.cjb.net – helps young athletes access information about baseball clinics and other sporting opportunities in their area, Carmona said. The nonprofit group is hosting a baseball clinic for all ages. Baseball players who join Carmona’s workshops at Joe Miller Field, 7630 Washington Ave. in Whittier, pay $15 per day to be part of the Monday and Tuesday clinics, which end Aug. 8. Attendees participate in drills with athletic specialists, incorporating everything from rapid footwork and reflexes to strength-building exercises and discipline. But the focus always returns to students’ performance in the classroom. “If you could achieve these things on the field, why not in the classroom?” said Carmona. last_img read more