A Free World With Unity And Purpose: The Urgent Lessons Of The Berlin Airlift
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
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Join us for an extraordinary event featuring world chess champion, author and master of strategy, Garry Kasparov. The Berlin Airlift was a tremendous practical achievement as well as a potent example of individual and collective leadership and courage. With Russia’s war on Ukraine raging and China increasingly aggressive, Kasparov calls for an immediate renewal of the will shown by President Harry Truman to stand up to belligerent authoritarian regimes on every front.
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Soviet Union in 1963, Garry Kasparov became the under-18 chess champion of the USSR at the age of 12 and the world under-20 champion at 17. He came to international fame at the age of 22 as the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985. When the Soviet sports authorities pressured Kasparov for using his chess fame to criticize the Communist system, he and his family fled ethnic pogroms in Baku in 1990, relocating to Moscow. In 2005, still ranked #1 in the world, Kasparov retired from professional chess to form the first Russian pro-democracy opposition coalition against the rising dictatorship of Vladimir Putin. In 2012, Kasparov was named chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, succeeding Václav Havel. HRF promotes individual liberty worldwide and organizes the annual Oslo Freedom Forum. Facing imminent arrest during Putin’s crackdown, Kasparov moved from Moscow to New York City in 2013.
In 2017, Kasparov founded the Renew Democracy Initiative, dedicated to promoting the principles of the free world through education and advocacy. Bringing together leaders and representatives from across the political spectrum, RDI has become a leading voice for political reform and standing up for democratic values against authoritarian regimes and influences worldwide.
In 2022, in response to Putin’s all-out invasion of Ukraine, Kasparov co-founded the Russian Action Committee with former political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other oppositionists at the Free Russia Forum. The Committee has published a plan for a Russian transformation to a parliamentary democracy post-Putin, including abandoning all claims on Ukrainian and other foreign territory, reparations to Ukraine, accountability for Russian officials, and decentralization of power inside Russia.
In 2016, Kasparov was named a Security Ambassador by Avast Software, where he discusses cybersecurity and digital rights. The US-based Kasparov Chess Foundation non-profit promotes the teaching of chess in education systems around the world.
Since 1990, Kasparov has been a regular contributor to many major publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Daily News. His Twitter and Facebook boast over a million followers. Kasparov speaks frequently to business audiences around the world on strategy, decision-making, politics, and artificial intelligence.
Kasparov’s book How Life Imitates Chess on strategy and decision-making is available in over 20 languages. He is the author of two acclaimed series of chess books, My Great Predecessors and Modern Chess. Kasparov’s prescient book, Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped, was released in 2015. His latest book on AI and the human-machine relationship is Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins (2017).
All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.