Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Myths of World War II: A Lecture

Donald Yerxa

Although some have questioned the health of the field of military history in today’s academy, there is no doubt that outstanding work is being done in military and naval history these days. A number of forums, essays, and interviews appearing in Historically Speaking over the past couple of years attest to this. And there has been outstanding work done especially on World War II.

I would like to alert readers of the blog to a major event in academic military history that will occur next month at the American Historical Association meeting in Boston. Gerhard L. Weinberg will give the Annual George C. Marshall Lecture on Military History (sponsored by the George C. Marshall Foundation and the Society for Military History) on Saturday, January 8, 2011, 5:00 PM-6:30 PM in Marriott Boston Copley Place’s Grand Ballroom Salon F. A reception will follow in nearby Grand Ballroom Salon E.

Weinberg, an emeritus professor of history at the University of North Carolina, is an internationally recognized authority on Nazi Germany and the origins and course of World War II. His lecture, “Some Myths of World War II,” will examine some widely shared myths of the war—ones pertaining to the war as a whole as well as some about individual leaders and groups of individuals. Included among the latter will be Adolf Hitler and his generals, Winston Churchill, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, and Yamamoto Isoroku. Weinberg’s talk will also touch on such issues as the Yalta Conference and the Morgenthau Plan. As the war recedes in time, much new information has become available, but certain myths enjoy a long life.

Brian Linn, the president of the Society for Military History and a frequent contributor to Historically Speaking, invites interested historians to attend the lecture and reception. It is a great opportunity to meet new people, talk about military history, and learn about what is going on in the field.

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