Pulitzer Prize-winning Author to Speak at A&M-Texarkana


David K. Shipler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former correspondent with the New York Times, will be the fall 2015 keynote speaker for the Program for Learning and Community Engagement (PLACE) at Texas A&M University-Texarkana at 7 p.m. on Tues., Nov. 10, in Eagle Hall of the University Center, 7101 University Avenue, Texarkana, Texas. A book signing will follow.

Shipler’s appearance is co-sponsored by the A&M-Texarkana’s Office of First Year Experience’s annual academic theme program. This year’s PLACE/FYE theme is “economic opportunity.”

The Office of FYE will offer a copy of Shipler’s book “The Working Poor: Invisible in America” to the first 50 attendees.

Shipler grew up in Chatham, New Jersey, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1964. He served in the U.S. Navy as an officer on a destroyer from 1964-66.

Shipler joined the New York Times in 1966, where he covered housing, poverty and politics and won awards from the American Political Science Association and the New York Newspaper Guild. From 1973-75, he served as a New York Times correspondent in Saigon, covering South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. He also reported from Burma.

In 1975, Shipler spent a semester at the Russian Institute of Columbia University studying Russian language and Soviet politics, economics and history to prepare for an assignment in Moscow. He was a correspondent in the Moscow Bureau of the New York Times for four years and Moscow Bureau chief from 1977-79.

Shipler’s best-seller “Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams,” was published in 1983 and won the Overseas Press Club Award as the best book that year on foreign affairs.

From 1979-84, Shipler served as bureau chief of the New York Times in Jerusalem. He was co-recipient with Thomas Friedman of the 1983 George Polk Award for covering the Lebanon War.

In 1984-85, he served as a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington to write “Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land,” which explores the mutual perceptions and relationships between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the West Bank. The book won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and was extensively revised and updated in 2002 and again in 2015.

Shipler served as executive producer, writer and narrator of a two-hour PBS documentary on “Arab and Jew,” which won a 1990 Dupont-Columbia award for broadcast journalism, and of a one-hour film, “Arab and Jew: Return to the Promised Land,” which aired on PBS in August 2002.

Shipler served as chief diplomatic correspondent in the Washington Bureau of The New York Times until 1988. From 1988-90, he was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writing on transitions to democracy in Russia and Eastern Europe for the “New Yorker” and other publications.

His book “A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America,” based on five years of research into stereotyping and interactions across racial lines, was published in 1997. He was one of three authors invited by President Bill Clinton to participate in his first town meeting on race.

Shipler’s next book, “The Working Poor: Invisible in America,” was a national best-seller in 2004 and 2005. It was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award and the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award. It won an Outstanding Book Award from The Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights at Simmons College and awards from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, the New York Labor Communications Council and the D.C. Employment Justice Center. He has written two books on civil liberties: “The Rights of the People: How Our Search for Safety Invades Our Liberties,” published in 2011, and “Rights at Risk: The Limits of Liberty in Modern America,” published in 2012. His latest book, “Freedom of Speech: Mightier than the Sword,” will be published in 2015.

Shipler has received a Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award from Dartmouth and the following honorary degrees: Doctor of Letters from Middlebury College and Glassboro State College in New Jersey, Doctor of Laws from Birmingham-Southern College and Master of Arts from Dartmouth, where he served on the Board of Trustees from 1993 to 2003.

Shipler served as a member of the Pulitzer jury for general nonfiction in 2008 and chair in 2009. He has taught at Princeton and American University and served as writer-in-residence at the University of Southern California. He was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow on about 20 campuses and a Montgomery Fellow and visiting professor of Government at Dartmouth.

PLACE is a faculty-led program designed to create a community of learners comprising A&M-Texarkana students, faculty, staff and the community at large. PLACE’s goal is to expose its community of learners to a diversity of ideas from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

For more information, contact Liz Patterson, assistant vice president for Student Success, at Elizabeth.Patterson@tamut.edu or (903) 334-6722.

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