Who Was Norman Cousins? Peacemaker in the Atomic Age

Trinity Washington University

Dr. Allen Pietrobon is an Assistant Professor and Program Chair of the Global Affairs department at Trinity Washington University. An award-winning historian and public speaker, Allen specializes in 20th-Century American history and U.S. Foreign Policy, focusing on nuclear weapons policies and Cold War diplomacy. Since 2011, he has also served as an Assistant Director of Research at the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University. His latest book, Norman Cousins: Peacemaker in the Atomic Age, explores the widespread influence that prominent journalist Norman Cousins had on postwar international humanitarian aid, anti-nuclear advocacy, and Cold War diplomacy, including secret diplomatic missions he conducted behind the Iron Curtain.



Norman Cousins is probably most remembered as the long-time editor of the influential American weekly magazine Saturday Review — from 1940-1972. But Cousins was not just a well-known journalist reporting on world news; he also engaged in secret missions behind the Iron Curtain to conduct high stakes negotiations directly with the Soviet leadership. As a peacemaker in the atomic age, Cousins helped to shape the contours of the Cold War.

Join award-winning professor Allen Pietrobon as he explores the extraordinary life of Norman Cousins and demonstrates how Cousins used his megaphone at Saturday Review to help shape American public debate during the Cold War — even changing the minds of world leaders. It’s a fascinating look at the outsized impact that one individual had on the course of American public debate, international humanitarianism, and Cold War diplomacy in the decades after World War Two.




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