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Overview (Program Summary)
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Graeme Wood is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and lecturer in political science at Yale University. His first book, The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State, has been called a “gripping, sobering and revelatory book” by New Statesman and “the best insight yet into what makes the Islamic State tick” by The Week. “Unlike most journalists writing about Islam today,” writes the New Republic, “there is no partisan axe to grind here, no hidden agenda to subtly advance.” It also received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction—one of Canada’s highest literary honors. “Meticulously researched and fluidly written,” writes the assessment committee, “this bracing book delves into a contentious facet of contemporary geopolitics.”
As a keynote speaker, Wood addresses the reasons why people—even privileged, comfortable people—are drawn to extremism, and what we can do to prevent and subvert toxic ideologies. He also speaks on radicalism here at home, narrowing the spaces between acts of terrorism abroad and those committed by U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. His recent Atlantic profile on Richard Spencer—the ostensible mouthpiece of an emerging white supremacist movement—displays Wood’s ability to expose, examine, and contextualize how ordinary people can become the perpetrators (and victims) of hateful, violent rhetoric.
Wood has been a Turkey and Kurdistan analyst for Jane’s, a contributing editor to The New Republic, and books editor of Pacific Standard. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The American Scholar, The New Republic, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, and the International Herald Tribune. He was the 2015–16 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and today lives in Connecticut, USA.