WARREN, NJ- On Thursday, January 23 at 7 p.m., author Michael A. Rockland will discuss his experiences as a diplomat at different posts around the world, in particular the time he spent in Spain during the Franco’s dictatorship.  He was recently awarded the Governor Richard J. Hughes prize, bestowed by the State Historical Commission, for contributions to New Jersey history and culture. Professor Rockland founded the American Studies Department at Rutgers while serving as Assistant Dean of Douglass College (1969-1972).

The author of thirteen published books, his latest is titled 'An American Diplomat in Franco Spain' and discusses his diplomatic career as a cultural attaché at embassies overseas before coming to New Jersey. One of the key stories in the book is about the day he spent alone with Martin Luther King in Madrid.  Other key stories concern the near disaster when four American hydrogen bombs, luckily unarmed, rained down on Spain and Rockland's involvement, as a cultural attaché, in mitigating the effects of the crisis. The book also concerns the making of the movie 'Dr. Zhivago' almost entirely shot in Spain, and for which his young son was chosen for the role of Zhivago's son, Sasha. And there are stories about fascism in Spain in those days and the presence of actual Nazis who were warmly greeted by the then Spanish government.

Dr. Rockland has also written extensively for popular magazines such as Philadelphia, Adventure Travel, Explorer's Journal, Big, Preservation, and especially New Jersey Monthly, where he has long been a regular contributor. In addition, he has done considerable work in television production and filmmaking, including a three year stint (1978-1981) as cultural commentator on television's New Jersey Nightly News and co-writing the script for and acting in the P.B.S. film Three Days on Big City Waters (1974).

Pre-registration is required to attend this fascinating talk.   To register online please go to this link http://bit.ly/KjKD1i   or visit the website at www.sclsnj.org/warren.htm  and click on Adult Programs under Links of Interest.  You may also call 908-754-5554 ext 64 for more information and assistance with registration.   The Warren Twp Library, a branch of the Somerset County Library System, is located at 42 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, NJ 07059.