W&M alum returns to speak on Murrow

Tjefferson@vagazette.com

Major Gregory Tomlin, a William and Mary graduate, returned to campus Thursday to give a talk on Edward R. Murrow and his contributions to public diplomacy and to promote his book "Murrow's Cold War: Public Diplomacy for the Kennedy Administration."

Murrow was a broadcast journalist who gained notoriety for his radio broadcasts from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Tomlin's book chronicles his life.

"The book is biographic and filled with a series of case studies. The first chapter explains his background and growing fame at CBS news. The second chapter centers on Murrow's introduction to bureaucracy in D.C," Tomlin said.

Tomlin highlighted Murrow's influence on president Kennedy.

"Murrow didn't always convince the president to accept his views but his perspective was at least considered by policy makers during the Kennedy administration," Tomlin said.

Tomlin said he went everywhere from the Library of Congress to Tufts University doing research for the book.

"What really makes this book is these stories of color," Tomlin said.

Tomlin spent the 45 minute lecture not only talking about Murrow's contributions but his own time in the service.

Tomlin received his Ph.D. in history from George Washington University and served as assistant professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Tomlin began to focus his studies on public diplomacy from a pesperctive. Tomlin's book came after a professor at George Washington University challenged him to look further into Murrow's life.

"It turned out to be the proverbial goldmine that historians talk about," Tomlin said.

"(Tomlin) is one of the smartest, most thoughtful students I have ever had the pleasure to teach. But as important, he's generous and empathetic," said Michael Tierney, director at the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations at the college.

Tomlin also served in Germany, Korea, Kosovo, Iraq and in the White House. He now works for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Following the lecture, Tomlin did a question and answer session and signed copies of his book.

Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.

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