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Michael S. Neiberg, Professor of History, United States Army War College, Carlisle, PA


There may be no event in American history that is as important and yet as little understood as the First World War. Typical explanations of the war’s significance often boil down to the messianic vision of Woodrow Wilson or topics like the shipping rights of neutral nations. But these explanations dull a fascinating subject. This war involved acts of domestic terrorism, spy scandals, and intense public debates over the proper international role of the United States. Once involved in the war, the United States sought to make a clear, distinctive impact on the battlefield in order to earn a dominant role in the postwar peace. Wilson’s role in negotiating the Treaty of Versailles continues to cast a long shadow over American foreign policy and self-image to this day. This seminar will examine “the war to end all wars” in all of its complexity.


Readings are sent by the Institute to seminar participants. Readings may include:

Jennifer Keene, The United States and the First World War

David Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society

Chad Williams, Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the First World War Era

Travel & Accommodations

This seminar will be located in Chicago. 

Participants will be housed in an on-campus dormitory. Participants will have single bedrooms but may share bathrooms and common space.

The college provides pillows, blankets, sheets, and towels only. Please note that participants should plan to bring alarm clocks, hangers, irons, and hair dryers. Participants should plan to bring laptops as computer access on campus will be limited.

There are several options for traveling to and from Chicago. The following are some guidelines to help you plan your trip. Both Midway and O’Hare International Airports serve Chicago. The two main cab companies in Chicago are Checker Cab and Yellow Cab, and you can hire one by calling 312-829-4222.


Meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar. Each seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Please read our complete travel reimbursement policy before applying.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit in American history to participating seminar teachers. For more information click here.


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 13th, 2014 5:00 PM   through   July 19th, 2014 9:00 AM
Chicago, IL
United States
Seminar Fee
Attending $50.00
Not Attending $0.00

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