Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist and Author Bob Woodward to Speak at Tufts on American Presidents "From Nixon to Obama"

April 19, 2011

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Kalimah Redd Knight

Public Relations

617.627.3069

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. –  Tufts University will present Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Washington Post associate editor and best-selling author Bob Woodward as the 14th speaker in the Richard E. Snyder President's Lecture Series on April 25 at 4:30 p.m. in Cohen Auditorium, Aidekman Arts Center on Tufts University's Medford/Somerville campus.

Members of the public can reserve tickets for the free lecture by calling Laurie Tautkas at 617-627-3416. Tickets for members of the Tufts University community will be available at the Student Services desk inside Dowling Hall. Members of the news media who would like to attend should contact Katie Cinnamond at 617-627-4703 or Katherine.cinnamond@tufts.edu  for a ticket and reserved seat.

Woodard has been described by The Wall Street Journal as "the most celebrated journalist of our age." Winner with Carl Bernstein of a 1973 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Watergate scandal, Woodward has received almost every prestigious award in journalism. His role as the main reporter for the Post's coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks helped the newspaper win the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

One year later, Woodward received the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Reporting on the Presidency. At Tufts, Woodward's unique perspective on the American presidency will be the basis of his lecture "From Nixon to Obama."

Endowed by Richard E. Snyder, who graduated from Tufts in 1955 and is the former chairman and CEO of Simon and Schuster, this lecture series was established in 2004 to bring to Tufts speakers who have challenged conventional wisdom in their professional work.

Woodward's recent book Obama's Wars (2010) describes internal divisions and infighting among administration officials and military leadership as the president weighed strategies to fight the Taliban and also withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Woodward writes of Obama's reaction to a memo given to him by his budget director, Peter Orszag, in October 2009. It projected costs for the Afghanistan war at almost $1 trillion:

"'This is not what I'm looking for,' the president said.'I'm not doing 10 years. I'm not doing a long-term nation-building effort. I'm not spending a trillion dollars. I've been pressing you guys on this.'"

"Gesturing to the McChrystal assessment, the troop request, and the Orszag memo, he added, 'That's not in the national interest.' The president had talked about opportunity costs before. Spending $1 trillion on Afghanistan would come at the expense of other priorities—domestic programs or lowering the deficit."

Woodward has authored or co-authored 12 best selling non-fiction books including All the President's Men (1974), The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court" (1979) and Bush at War (2002).

Excerpt from Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward. Copyright © 2010 by Bob Woodward. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY.

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Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.