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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 16, 2010

(MAHWAH, NJ) – Louis Begley, the author of Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters (Yale University Press, 2009), will deliver the second annual William K. Gumpert Memorial Lecture on Human Rights and Genocide at Ramapo College of New Jersey in October.

Begley will discuss “In Defense of Human Rights: Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters.”

The event is sponsored by the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and supported by a grant [made to the Ramapo College Foundation for the Center’s benefit] in memory of California attorney and longtime Center benefactor William K. Gumpert, who passed away in the fall of 2007.  It is supported by the Gumpert Foundation, established under a bequest before his passing, which fosters a series of initiatives in Genocide and Human Rights Education at Ramapo College.

In Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters, Begley reflects on how an ostensibly democratic constitutional state with an exemplary legal system can be imperiled when self-preservation and bigotry triumph over the rule of law and humanity.

A novelist and former senior partner at the New York law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, Louis Begley is a survivor of the Holocaust who was born in Poland in 1933 and came to the US in 1946. He attended Harvard University and after a stint in the US Army, Harvard Law School, where he graduated with honors in 1959, after which he joined Debevoise & Plimpton.

In addition to “Why the Dreyfus Affair Matter,” Begley has written seven novels beginning with the publication of his first, Wartime Lies, in 1991 and then The Man who was Late, As Max Saw It, About Schmidt, Mister’s Exit, Schmidt Delivered and Shipwreck. His novels have won numerous awards, have been finalists in the National Book Awards and the National Book Critics Circle, and have been translated into fifteen languages. About Schmidt was the basis for movie starring Jack Nicholson. Louis Begley lives in Manhattan with his wife, the French writer and biographer Anka Muhlstein.

Louis Begley will speak on Thursday, October 14, 7:00 p.m. in the Trustees Pavilion (Rooms 1 and 2). The presentation is free and open to the public.  For more information or to reserve a seat, please call 201.684.7409.

For media inquiries, contact Anna Farneski, assistant vice president, Marketing and Communications, 201.684.6844.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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