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Great Decisions returns Jan. 24 for 38th year at Monmouth

MONMOUTH, Ill. — The topic “The Waning of Pax Americana?” will kick off the 38th year of the Great Decisions series at Monmouth College on Jan. 24.

Emeritus Professor of Political Science Ira Smolensky, longtime host of the Great Decisions program at Monmouth, will introduce this year’s opening topic at 7:30 p.m. in the Moot Board Room (Room 276) of the Center for Science and Business, 720 E. Broadway. A group discussion, which will last about an hour, will follow his remarks.

“Great Decisions is one of those unique programs that informs the community on a variety of important current global issues,” said Associate Dean of Students Mohsin Masood, one of the program’s co-hosts. “The speakers bring in a perspective which is very different from the one portrayed by the media. It is a great learning exercise for all.”

Since 1981, Great Decisions has operated at Monmouth as a forum where the public and the academic community can freely meet in a congenial setting and talk about world affairs. All eight Great Decisions programs this semester are free and open to the public. They will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Moot Board Room, concluding on March 21. Four of the sessions will be led by professors who are new to Monmouth’s faculty this year.

Called “America’s largest discussion program on world affairs,” Great Decisions is a nationwide program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, a non-partisan, non-governmental association that works to increase Americans’ understanding of foreign policy issues.

A companion guide, Great Decisions 2018, can be ordered online at It includes eight chapters, each of which takes about a half-hour to read. The readings are also available on reserve at the College’s Hewes Library.

For more information about Great Decisions at Monmouth College, contact Masood at or 309-457-2113, or the other co-host for the program, political science professor Mike Nelson, at or 309-457-2422.