World War II

World War II (A Six-Week Compressed Course, Term II)

Led by: Prof. Michael Neiberg (US Army War College)
Course Number: AMHI 656
Semesters: Fall 2018, Summer 2020, Summer 2022, Summer 2024 (Term II)



Image: A photograph of President Franklin D. Roosevelt inscribed “To the American Embassy in Tokyo from Franklin Roosevelt,” by Harris & Ewing, Washington DC, ca. 1938–1940 (The Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC07527)

To the American Embassy in Tokyo from Franklin Roosevelt

Course Description

This course builds context and nuance into the traditional views with which Americans have seen World War II. Although keeping the American experience at the center, it will always view that experience through a global lens. We will challenge some of the myths and half-truths that Hollywood has bequeathed to Americans about the war, while introducing students to some arguments that have emerged from the latest scholarship on themes like the home front, the actual fighting of the war, and the processes of peacemaking. This is not the course to learn more about George Patton and his tanks; it is intended to be a scholarly and objective analysis of the interplay between US, world, and military history during the most destructive war ever.

Download Draft Syllabus

Lecture Preview

Lecture 1: “US and Asia, 1919–1939”

About the Scholar

Michael Neiberg, Professor of History and Chair of War Studies, US Army War College

Michael Neiberg has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a founding member of the Société Internationale d’Étude de la Grande Guerre, and a trustee of the Society for Military History. He is the author of The Blood of Free Men (Basic Books, 2012), a history of the liberation of Paris in 1944, and Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe (Basic Books, 2015).

The views expressed in the course descriptions and lectures are those of the lead scholars.