Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, journalist and speaker will give the Kenner Lecture in January. Contributed photo.

Anne Applebaum to Deliver 2023 Kenner Lecture

The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, journalist and speaker will present ‘Disinformation and the Threat to Democratic Institutions.’

Anne Applebaum, a staff writer at The Atlantic and former Washington Post columnist who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for her book, “Gulag: A History,” will deliver the Kenner Lecture on Cultural Understanding. 

The event will be held at 8 p.m. on Jan. 31 in Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall and is free to the public. It will be followed by a moderated question-and-answer session with Applebaum. 

Applebaum examines global political and economic change through the lens of world history and the contemporary political landscape, drawing on her expertise in Europe and years of international reporting. She explores the far-reaching implications of and perspectives on today’s volatile world events. She also scrutinizes the misinformation, propaganda and criminal exploitation that influence global affairs. 

Her Pulitzer Prize Winning “Gulag: A History” is about the Soviet concentration camps. Her book, “Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine,” is the winner of her second Duff Cooper Prize and the 28th Lionel Gelber Prize in 2018. Her other books include “Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1946,” which won a Cundill Prize for Historical Literature, and “Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe.” 

In 2021, Applebaum was awarded the International Center for Journalists Excellence in International Reporting Award. In October of that same year, she was presented with the 38th Francisco Cerecedo Journalism Award, named after the famous Spanish journalist, and awarded by King Felipe VI of Spain.

In July 2020, her book “Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism,” was published by Penguin. In the book she outlines why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism. The book became a New York Times bestseller. Applebaum was later named one of the “Top 50 Thinkers of the Covid-19 Age” by the British Prospect Magazine. 

She is currently a Senior Fellow of International Affairs and the Angora Fellow in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. Also an adjunct fellow of the Center for European Policy Analysis, Applebaum is the former Phillippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics. 

Applebaum was director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute from 2011-2015, a London-based think-tank with the mission of creating a global movement of people committed to reducing poverty. While there, Applebaum co-founded the institute’s Democracy Lab. 

For many years, she wrote a biweekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. In addition to being a staff writer at The Atlantic, Applebaum has been a contributor to Foreign Affairs, The New Republic and the New York Review of Books. She was formerly a member of The Washington Post’s editorial board, foreign and deputy editor of The Spectator Magazine and political editor of the Evening Standard newspaper. From 1988-1991, she covered the collapse of communism as Warsaw correspondent for The Economist

Born in Washington, D.C., Applebaum attended Yale University and was a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics and St. Antony’s College in Oxford. 

Hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Kenner Lecture Series was endowed by Jeffrey L. Kenner ’65 ’66 and established in 1997. Kenner, who studied industrial engineering and business administration at Lehigh, became involved in private equity and venture capital after a career as a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers (then Price Waterhouse & Co.).

In 1986, Kenner formed his own firm, Kenner & Company Inc. He served as a university trustee from 1995-2002 and was an early sponsor of the IBE (Integrated Business and Engineering) Honors Program. Kenner has long been a member of the university’s Asa Packer and Tower Societies and was inducted into the Leadership Plaza in October 2000. 

Previous lecture speakers include New York Times columnist, podcast host and author Ezra Klein; David Ignatius, a novelist and longtime Washington Post columnist; former U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, and PBS NewsHour Anchor Judy Woodruff.

Related Stories

Anne Applebaum talks to students

Applebaum: The Belief That Things Can Get Better is Key to Making Them Better

The Pulitzer-Prize winner delivered the Kenner Lecture titled ‘Disinformation and the Threat to Democratic Institutions.’

Aurelia Honerkamp-Smith

NIH Grant Funds Lehigh Researchers' Exploration of Lipid Membranes

Aurelia Honerkamp-Smith and Damien Thévenin envision that the models they produce will apply to multiple cell lines and flow conditions, and will lay the groundwork for future research directions.

Ocean tester

Off-Axis High-Temperature Hydrothermal Field Discovered at East Pacific Rise

Spearheaded by the McDermott lab at Lehigh, the research demonstrates there are more hydrothermal vents in the deep-sea than previously thought and underscores a need for bathymetric mapping to locate them.