After the announcement of UMass Amherst Libraries’ acquisition of his historic personal papers, whistleblower and activist Daniel Ellsberg has completed a series of visits, lectures and presentations to the UMass Amherst community.
At each of these events, Ellsberg, along with a number of accompanying guests and commentators, spoke directly to audiences, reflecting on his efforts to make public the Pentagon Papers. With this came discussions on the timeliness of his work, as Ellsberg spoke on the parallels between the nation’s current state of affairs and those more than 50 years ago.
Two of Ellsberg’s campus visits were planned in partnership with the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), which included a viewing of the documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers;” a panel discussion with Pentagon Papers courier Gar Alperovitz; and a lecture titled “The Dollar Auction, Unendable Wars and Gambling with Catastrophe.”
The visits concluded with the Friends of the Libraries’ 21st Annual Fall Reception, where Ellsberg addressed nearly 700 students, faculty and community members for an extended conversation about his personal archive. Ellsberg emphasized the relevancy of his work to today’s headlines and the important role whistleblowing plays in protecting democracy.