KC Johnson

Roundtable Cultural Seminars: World War II

Fall 2019 is the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II. This Seminar will cover the run-up to the war, the expansion of the conflict beyond Europe, the effects of the U.S. entry, Hitler’s demise, the war and Europe’s civilian population (especially European Jews), and the onset of the Post-War order. The last 10-15 minutes of each session will discuss contemporary events.

Session 1 Road to War


Session 2 From Poland to the Fall of France


Session 3 The Creation of a World War


Session 4 Hitler’s Demise


Session 5 The War and Civilians


Session 6 The Emerging Post-War Order


Reading List:

  • Rick Atkinson, The Liberation Trilogy
  • Geoffrey Best, Churchill: A Study in Greatness
  • Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
  • Chad Bryant, Prague in Black
  • James McGregor Burns, Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom
  • Robert Dallek, FDR and American Foreign Policy
  • John Dower, War without Mercy
  • David Dutton, Neville Chamberlain
  • Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate
  • Nigel Hamilton, The Mantle of Command
  • Akira Iriye, Power and Culture
  • Roy Jenkins, Churchill
  • Ian Kershaw, Hitler, Vols. 1, 2
  • Stephen Kotkin, Stalin Volume II: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941
  • Igor Lukes, Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler
  • Ernest May, Strange Victory
  • Anna Reid, Leningrad
  • Simon Sebag Montifiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar
  • Norman Rich, Hitler’s War Aims
  • Nick Smart, Neville Chamberlain
  • Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Between Hitler and Stalin
  • Nicholas Stargardt, The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945
  • Volker Ullrich, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939
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