Ken Adelman is currently vice-president of Movers and Shakespeares, which conducts executive training through leadership lessons from Shakespeare. Ambassador Adelman began teaching Shakespeare in 1977 at Georgetown University, and later with honors students at George Washington University.
During the Reagan Administration, Ken Adelman was an Ambassador to the United Nations and then Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, accompanying President Reagan on his superpower summits with Mikhail Gorbachev.
Adelman was a philosophy major at Grinnell College and then attended Georgetown University, where he received a Masters in Foreign Service Studies and Doctorate in Political Theory.
He is the author of five books -- including co-author of Shakespeare in Charge -- and hundreds of articles, was for 20 years national editor of Washingtonian magazine, and for six years a member of the Defense Policy Board.
While living in Africa from 1972 to 1975, Adelman translated for Mohammed Ali during “The Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight championship fight in Zaire, and participated in the Zaire River Expedition, venturing down the Congo River on the 100th Anniversary of Stanley’s exploration.
Ken Adelman: Well you certainly have the dispersal of information. You have the retrieval of information. You have from our teaching Shakespeare, it’s a godsend. Because Shakespeare was never meant to be read. This idea of a teacher handing a book – Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar to students – I can’t think of a worse way to treat Shakespeare. I can’t think of a way to turn off students more. It’s hard to read Shakespeare, but now we have DVDs. So you see it . . . that’s what Shakespeare said. He didn’t write books. He wrote parts for plays. He never imagined anyone would read this stuff. It’s like, you know, you coming and asking me, you know, “I really want a great, great symphony.” And I say, “Oh my gosh. I love Beethoven’s Seventh ______. Here’s the music. Go read it.” And you’d say, “Hold on. I’m supposed to go read this stuff? I mean, why not listed to it?” Oh no. Just read it and that’ll be fine. So it’s the . . . Technology gives you a way into a lot of the arts that you didn’t have before, and it’s wonderful.
Recorded on: 7/2/07