OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

David Kennedy

Portrait of David Kennedy

David Kennedy is the Donald J. Mclachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, and founding director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. He is the author of several books on American history, including Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (1999), which won the Pulitzer Prize and the Francis Parkman Prize. He received the OAH Distinguished Service Award in 2007.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

An account of the phenomenal demographic growth and economic dynamism of the post-WWII American West, emphasizing the enormous investment in water management and how the regional plumbing system is now threatened by a perfect storm of population growth, changing environmental standards and statutes, and climate change.
An exploration of some of the implications of the force structure that the United States has had since the transition to the all-volunteer military in 1973. The lecture addresses both issues of social equity as well as the consequences for national security policy.
Kennedy uses the example of Dwight Eisenhower as soldier and president as a platform for some observations drawn from social pscyhology about the components and contexts of leadership of various sorts.