Zakaria offers timely take on world affairs



Chautauqua may not have a slot on CNN, but speakers will approach the Week Eight morning lecture platform with all the freshness Fareed Zakaria displays in his weekly international affairs show, “Global Public Square.”

Zakaria himself will open the week at 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater, offering his take on the morning’s most current international news.

Week Eight’s lecture theme, “Chautauqua’s Global Public Square,” is a “take-off” on Zakaria’s program, said Sherra Babcock, vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education.

“What we’re doing for the week is having international issues covered,” she said. “It’s not a linear story. It’s an episodic group of international stories that we might not hear about.”

While the other lecturers this week are covering such specific subject areas as Chinese investment in Africa, Babcock said, Zakaria will utilize his background as a political commentator on world issues to cover one or several current news stories.

“It will be something very timely. It will be something very current, and it will be something very important that we likely would miss,” she said.

“GPS” airs Sunday mornings on CNN, and has featured Zakaria’s interviews with such prominent figures as the Dalai Lama and heads of state representing the United States, India, Jordan, Russia, Libya and Brazil.

Zakaria also writes a semi-monthly column for The Washington Post and has served as editor-at-large of Time since 2010. His four books include New York Times-bestsellers The Post-American World, published in 2012, and The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad, published in 2007. Last month, Atlantic Media announced that Zakaria would join the company as a contributing editor.

Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Zakaria earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a doctorate in government from Harvard in 1993.

In opening the first episode of “GPS” on June 1, 2008, Zakaria said that to many people, “the world looks like a grim place.”

“Almost every day, you’re bombarded with frightening headlines, stories of out-of-control governments and terrorists who want to kill you,” he said. “But beyond those headlines, the picture is actually much brighter. Economic growth and technology are raising people out of disease and poverty every day. On this program, we’ll try to understand the new forces shaping our world, both the good and the bad.