It's perhaps the most important question of America's past half century: Why did we go to war in Vietnam?

In this year's Olin Lecture, Cornell history professor Fredrik Logevall, one of the world's leading scholars of the war, considers U.S. intervention in Vietnam anew, drawing from his Pulitzer Prize-winning new book, Embers of War.

Logevall will pay particular attention to the views and decisions of John F. Kennedy, in this the 50th anniversary year of the Dallas assassination. He'll also examine the lessons of the war for Americans today.

Logevall is the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and Professor of History at Cornell, where he serves as director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. On July 1, 2013, he will become Cornell's vice provost for international relations.