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Gary Olson, Emeritus Professor of Political Science


Gary Olson

Emeritus Professor of Political Science


B.A., Concordia College
M.A., University of South Dakota
Ph.D., University of Colorado

Postdoctoral National Endowment For The Humanities Fellowships:

University Of California, Berkeley
University Of Pittsburgh
UNC At Chapel Hill



Areas of Research and/or Expertise

International political economy, labor politics, U.S. foreign policy in the Third World.


Dr. Olson's books include U.S. Foreign Policy and the Third World Peasant (1974), The Other Europe (1977), How the World Works (1981) and Empathy Imperiled: Capitalism, Culture and the Brain (2013). In 1977, Dr. Olson was awarded a Fulbright to Finland; in 1990, he received a Fulbright to Egypt and Jordan, and he received another in 1995 to Mexico. He was also awarded the Malone Fellow to Syria and Kuwait in 1993. He is a recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Recent Commentaries

Satire Pieces (Pseudonym I.M. Salmon)

Political Engagement

Foreign Study, Teaching and Travel

1977 Finland (Senior Fulbright Lecturer at University of Turku)
1978 Germany and Czechoslovakia 
1979 Cuba (Co-led a study group from Moravian and Lafayette)
1980 USSR (American Professors Study Tour)
1980 England/France
1981 Occupied Territories (Gaza and West Bank), Lebanon and Israel
1983 El Salvador and Honduras (Peace and Social Justice delegation)
1985 USSR (Accompanied  Moravian students on study tour)
1990 Japan (Study trip for U.S. Educators)
1991 Norway, Sweden & Denmark
1992 Syria and Jordan (Malone Fellow)
1993 Kuwait & Egypt (Studied Arabic at American University in Cairo)
1995 Mexico (Fulbright award to study NAFTA)
2003 Spain
2007 Portugal
2009 Turkey
2012 Greece
2014 Italy

Important musical influences in my life

  • Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited
  • Joni Mitchell Blue
  • Miles Davis Kind of Blue and In A Silent Way
  • John Coltrane A Love Supreme
  • Neil Young Harvest and Harvest Moon
  • The Grateful Dead American Beauty
  • The Beatles Abbey Road
  • Roxy Music Avalon
  • Van Morrison Astral Weeks
  • Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon
  • Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions
  • Lucinda Williams Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
  • Neil Young After the Gold Rush
  • Carole King Tapestry
  • The Band The Band 

Gary's new book,


Book review by Scott Preston
Review of Empathy Imperiled

Book review by Kris Franklin
Review of Empathy Imperiled

Book review by Rachel O'Donnell:
Review of Empathy Imperiled

Book review by Paul Street:
"The Golden Rule: Theirs and Ours"

Book review by Elliot Rose:
Review of Empathy Imperiled




Zinn (2) and Jackson (3)


Grandson Zinn with parents Alix and Jaime.


Zinn and Jackson


Grandpa, Zinn and Jackson watching Chomsky for Toddlers on YouTube ... or was it the Alphabet Train Song video?


Daughters Liz and Alix with sons Jackson and Zinn, strolling down Church Street.


EMPATHY IMPERILED receives praise from higher authority

News: Dateline VATICAN CITY (January 12, 2014) 
"A tip of the zucchetto to Prof. Olson! By papal decree, Empathy Imperiled is now compulsory reading at the Holy See."

- Pope Francis


Gary at Occupy Wall Street, October 3, 2011.


Gary Olson at Occupy Bethlehem in Payrow Plaza (Church & New Streets)