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Perham grad, scholar speaks on new book

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Dr. Patrick Mendis, a foreign student who graduated from Perham High School, will appear at the Perham Area Public Library on April 16 to speak on his most recent book, "Trade for Peace: How the DNA of America, Freemasonry, and Providence Created a New World Order with Nobody in Charge."

Mendis, born in Sri Lanka, received an American Field Service scholarship to attend high school in Perham and graduated from PHS in 1979.

"For the general interest of the community, and our students, I thought I would talk about our Founding Fathers and their "secret" mission in the world, especially emphasizing the worldview of Jefferson, who wants to have America look more like Perham (small self-governing cities) as opposed to mega cities like Minneapolis, which Hamilton preferred," said Mendis in an email correspondence. "I will also talk about the 'Mercurial Presidency of Barack Obama.'"

At a Rotary Club presentation Thursday afternoon, Mendis will discuss "The Founding Vision: Mercurial President Obama and his Global Mission."

An alumnus of the Harvard Executive Leadership Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Dr. Mendis earned his PhD in geography/applied economics from the University of Minnesota; MA in international development and foreign affairs from the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs; and BS in business administration and economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Sri Lanka.

He currently serves as the vice president of academic affairs at the Osgood Center for International Studies and is a visiting scholar in foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University's Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

He is an adjunct professor of diplomacy at Norwich University's Master of Arts in Diplomacy program.

In Trade for Peace, Mendis traces the history of two foreign policy traditions for the United States, one set forth by Alexander Hamilton and the second by Thomas Jefferson and argues for a rethinking of the American role in global leadership.

Dr. Mendis will be at the Perham Area Public Library at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 16.

He will also be speaking at the Rotary Club meeting April 16.

His visit to Perham is part of a book signing tour in Minnesota, starting at the U of M's Hubert Humphrey Institute on April 13.

This program will appeal to everyone who enjoys political and economic thought and American history or for anyone who simply wants to greet an old friend on his visit home.

This program is free and open to everyone.

More information on Patrick Mendis, including information on ordering his book, can be found at

"When Patrick Mendis grew up in Sri Lanka, he dreamt about America and was inspired by great Virginians: Madison, Jefferson, Washington, and Patrick Henry. Patrick Mendis - now himself a proud Virginian - and former American diplomat and military professor, writes about ... the American destiny," wrote Senator George Allen, Ronald Reagan Presidential Scholar and former Virginia Governor, of Mendis's new book.

"Since the arrival of Columbus, America has been a nation of rivals," states some of the background literature on the book. The colonists and the Pilgrims embodied a "plantation of Trade" and a "plantation of Religion" through which traditions the rivalry between the Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians has emerged to build the most dynamic Union. Even with their distinctive impulses for economic interests and moral sentiments, they favored freedom; hence, they are united for a common cause: peace."

Fascinated by American ideas, Patrick Mendis - with his Buddhist and Christian upbringings in Sri Lanka and Minnesota, and working in Washington, D.C. - reveals the founding vision.