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John Graham Speaks at the Naval Academy

At Annapolis all 4,500 midshipmen roared to their feet in response to Graham's speech, challenging them to think deeply about "War, Leadership and a Moral Life." For more on John Graham's speeches and workshops, go here.

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Sit Down Young Stranger -- a memoir

To the young Graham, adventure was everything, and each brush with death only pushed him to up the ante—and to bury ever deeper the emotional life needed to make him whole. Then it changed, sometimes dramatically, including a desperate fight to survive in a lifeboat in a typhoon in the North Pacific. More of the story here. You can get the book here

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(from the Blog) Vietnam Revisited

In 1972, I was US Advisor to the City of Hué, South Vietnam. Some evenings, especially if the day had been difficult and dangerous, I would drive a few miles outside the City to an ancient pagoda called Linh Mu. There I would sit at this very spot on a wall overlooking the Perfume River where I would try to absorb some of the calmness of the river, the temple bells, and the monks sweeping the courtyard with straw brooms. But the war was never very far away. more

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SELECTED BLOG POSTS

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The pandemic is easing in much of the United States. In the larger world, vaccines are finally beginning to flow from “have” countries to “have nots.”

As it ends in this country, I think it’s crucial not to rush onwards, without looking at these last, devastating months. There are huge lessons to be learned from what we’ve been through—about inequality, about race, about work, about ourselves—and we’d be monumentally stupid not to learn...

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A few days ago I was interviewed on Russian state television on a news show that draws over a million viewers inside Russia. The subject was President Biden’s trip to Europe and in particular his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This is perhaps my 30th appearance on Russian media and I remain mystified why they keep asking me on, since I offer balanced views of issues the United States and Russia don’t agree on....

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Memorial Day 2021

President Biden’s withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan will be completed before the deadline he set—September 11, exactly 20 years after the attacks on the US that were our reason for starting that long, unwinnable war.

As you know, the United States went into Afghanistan in December of 2001 to find and destroy the Taliban (the ultraconservative political and religious faction that ruled Afghanistan...

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As you know, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter.

Since then there’s been nonstop coverage and analysis of the trial. Many people feared that the killer would get off because history shows it’s extremely difficult to get a murder conviction of a police officer.

Juries give cops enormous latitude and, if that wasn’t enough, in too many...

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375 people have now been arrested, charged and intensively interviewed about their participation in the attack on the US Capitol January 6. A reliable picture is emerging of who they are and what motivated them.

It’s no surprise that they were overwhelmingly white and male and strongly influenced by Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn the November election

But it came as a bit of a surprise, at least to some, that only about 10%...

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Last week, Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old white man, killed eight people, seven of them women, in three Atlanta-area spas. His motives seem to have been a toxic mix of misogyny, racism and bizarre ideas about himself and sex.

A patron of two of the spas, the Long grew up in a ultra-conservative Baptist church and appeared fixated on lust and guilt. He told police that he was a “sex addict” and that the women working there were...

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Talking to the enemy—and in these incredibly polarized times, who doesn’t have some?

I’ve got some useful suggestions for how to turn battlegrounds into conversations.

Know first that I’m no idle theorist. My ideas on conflict communications come from a lifetime of dealing with serious conflicts, from planning nuclear war for NATO, to environmental battles in the Pacific Northwest, to trying to cope with an out-of-control...

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Take a step behind the discussions on guns, misogyny, and the anger and loneliness that are driving men’s addictions and suicides. Time after time, in that dark place, I see men struggling to communicate or even acknowledge their emotions, men wanting but failing to form positive relationships with other men, men whose fathers were emotionally AWOL, men who grew up without good role models for what it means to be a brave, caring and...

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