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A Conversation with Edward Luce on his New Project: a Biography of Zbigniew Brzezinski

November 13, 2020

Edward Luce, US National Editor of the Financial Times
Eliot A. Cohen, Dean of Johns Hopkins SAIS
Ambassador (ret.) Mark Brzezinski, former United States Ambassador to Sweden from 2011–2015
The latest Brzezinski Current Issues Seminar featured a discussion on Edward Luce’s new project, a comprehensive biography on former National Security Advisor to the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Following Cohen’s opening remarks, Mark Brzezinski, the son of the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, narrated a story on his father’s momentous life. He began by sharing how as a young man, his father experienced adversity from suffering from polio to lacking the ability to speak English as a Polish immigrant. Brzezinski noted that his father looked to his older stepbrother for inspiration, who stressed the importance of loyalty, honesty, and bravery throughout his life. Ultimately, he remembered him as a great teacher above all else.
Luce shed light on Brzezinski’s acute sense of the loss of his homeland, which led him to obtain a deeper grasp of what was taking place in the world around him. Speaking in particular to his ruthless intellectualism, Luce noted that the NSA once offered to continue his role in the Regan administration. Furthermore, as a realist, the NSA, refused to renounce Brzezinski’s previous support of the mujahideen in Afghanistan even after 9/11, and was singularly focused on the acute threat the Soviets posed at the time. This was further emphasized by Mark Brzezinski, who noted how his father always knew when to stand up for himself, and never serve as a sidekick.
The event concluded with questions from the audience.