The end of the Cold War is to be the focus of a public lecture at the University of Birmingham on Wednesday 9 February 2011.

Former contributing editor of the Washington Post, David Hoffman, will be delivering a lecture entitled Gorbachev, Reagan and new evidence on strategic weapons and the end of the Cold War at Birmingham’s Business School and will explore the final years of the Cold War. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will be split into two sections; the first will focus on Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative and the Soviet response to it and the second will delve into the development of the illicit Soviet bio-weapons programme. Gorbachev’s decision-making will be explored throughout as will the role of the UK and Margaret Thatcher.

A prize winning journalist, Hoffman’s lecture follows the critical acclaim of his recent publication, The Dead Hand: the Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and provides an investigative history of Reagan, Gorbachev and the dying days of the Cold War.

Event organiser, Dr Derek Averre, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham commented:

“The Dead Hand contains a wealth of carefully-researched and vivid detail and presents an absorbing and balanced narrative of a key piece of history, much of which is in danger of being forgotten but which provides valuable lessons for today’s world.

“Students of international politics, and indeed a wider readership, should relish the opportunity to meet the author in person and find out more about the writing of this important book.”

The hour-long public lecture, Gorbachev, Reagan and new evidence on strategic weapons and the end of the Cold War is taking place at the University of Birmingham’s Business School on Wednesday 9 February at 6pm. It is free to attend and if you would like to come, please register your attendance with Eleanor Leftwich at or on 0121 414 2950, in advance.

For further information, please contact Amy Cory, Press Assistant, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 6029.