The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu

Truth, Dissent & the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg

April 30 - May 1, 2021

Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, 2021
Free. Online. Open to All.

“Wouldn’t you go to prison to help stop this war?”
— Daniel Ellsberg

Inspired by Daniel Ellsberg’s vast collection of personal papers, recently acquired by University of Massachusetts Special Collections and University Archives, this free online conference brings together more than two dozen distinguished historians, journalists, activists, whistleblowers, and former policymakers on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Ellsberg’s leak of the Pentagon Papers. In a keynote address by Daniel Ellsberg and seven roundtable discussions, presenters will explore the major issues that have engaged Ellsberg’s life: the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, antiwar resistance, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, whistleblowing, and the wars of the 21st century. 

The plenary panel is an historic conversation between Ellsberg and fellow whistleblower Edward Snowden, moderated by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! Other speakers include Beatrice Fihn, leader of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning antinuclear group; former Nixon White House counsel John Dean; historians Fredrik Logevall, Carolyn Eisenberg, and Ngo Vinh Long; former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman; award-winning journalists Frances FitzGerald and Hedrick Smith, and many more. See the full list of speakers.

This conference is the culmination of a year-long course taught by UMass Amherst historian Christian Appy and journalism professor Kathy Roberts Forde in collaboration with Charles Sennott, founder of The GroundTruth Project, and the Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries, which is the repository for Ellsberg’s papers. We are building a website, The Ellsberg Archive Project, to showcase the donated collection, and GroundTruth is producing a special five-part podcast series called The Whistleblower: Truth, Dissent & the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg in collaboration with GBH.

View Schedule of Events


About the Project and Sponsors

This conference is a collaboration between the UMass Amherst Departments of History and Journalism; UMass Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Libraries; the UMass Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts; and The GroundTruth Project, with generous support from the Office of the Chancellor.


Umass Amherst logoThe GroundTruth Project LogoThe Ellsberg Archive Project logo