8th Jarvis Fund Lecture: Andrew Bacevich

Author and leading foreign policy commentator Andrew Bacevich addressed the School in Hall on October 14, the occasion of the 8th Jarvis International Fund Lecture. A retired US Army colonel, Professor Bacevich is known for his critique of the US military industrial complex, for reaching across political lines and speaking blunt truth to power, regardless of who is in office. (See photos from Hall)

In his address Professor Bacevich spoke of how US expansionist policies since the 1960s have proved counterproductive, resulting in economic and cultural profligacy, and political and military crises. "The foreign policy tradition that once worked, however fitfully and brutally, to the overall benefit of the American people no longer does so," he said. "Indeed, its perpetuation poses a proximate threat to much of what we profess to hold dear." Professor Bacevich answered questions in Hall after his address, and continued the discussion in the Senior US History elective class later in the morning.

An influential historian, Professor Bacevich has written and spoken on the unprecedented political, military and economic crises that face America today and is a leading commentator on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. His essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications. He has authored four books on US foreign policy; his latest bestseller, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, is a critique of our country's military industrial complex. In his previous bestseller, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, Professor Bacevich deconstructs decades of disastrous foreign policies, arguing that America's lust for empire and its sense of entitlement, coupled with its myth of indestructibility, has deluded and diminished the nation, at home and in the eyes of the world.

Since the establishment of the F. Washington Jarvis International Fund in 2004, Roxbury Latin has been honored to hear from economist Paul Volcker, alumnus ambassador Richard Murphy, Council on Foreign Relations head Richard Haas, journalist Linda Fasulo, former president of CARE Peter Bell, General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret.) and last year Sir Eric Anderson, former Headmaster of Eton College. The Fund is named for the man who for 30 years led Roxbury Latin as its Headmaster.

Margarita and Jack Hennessy ’54 established the Fund as an expression of their appreciation for the distinguished work that Mr. Jarvis did during his time here, and of their conviction that Roxbury Latin could gain from greater exposure to issues concerning the place of the US in the world. The Fund supports this exposure through the annual Jarvis Fund Lecture and by underwriting foreign travel for boys and faculty to experience first hand cultures different from our own. Dozens of boys have benefited through exchanges with schools in Australia and South Africa, month-long visits to Maru a Pula School in Botswana; annually a Hennessy Scholar spends a gap year at Eton College; and faculty have traveled to China and London, to name just a few examples. Most recently, 29 students and four masters traveled to Caen, France, and Burgos, Spain, for RL's inaugural month-long language and cultural immersion programs.

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