The Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Distinguished Lecture on World War II: Michael Neiberg
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

Michael Neiberg, PhD, and Robert Citino, PhD, present “Vichy and the United States: New Findings in Scholarship”

5:00 p.m. Reception | 6:00 p.m. Presentation | 7:00 p.m. Book Signing

The Institute for the Study of War and Democracy is delighted to host a conversation between two of the top military historians in the country—who also happen to be dear friends—Mike Neiberg and Rob Citino, as they discuss the convoluted and complicated WWII relationship between the United States and France’s Vichy government.

If Americans know anything about Vichy France, they likely learned it from the film Casablanca. After 1945, everyone from Washington to Paris and beyond had good reason to forget Vichy, and WWII scholars have mostly followed their lead. But in 1940, the collapse of France rendered all American war planning irrelevant, sending Americans into a panic that led to Lend-Lease, peacetime conscription, and massive defense spending. Vichy created a major problem for Americans, who were never sure how to read the “new” France. Most importantly, the Vichy state maintained control over the powerful French fleet and the overseas French empire, including possessions in the western hemisphere. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dispatched his ablest military advisor, Admiral William Leahy, to be ambassador, in the process angering the British by recognizing Vichy. Returning to the subject of Vichy allows us to ask new questions about the nature of the Allied coalition, the panic of 1940, and America’s road to war.

Michael Neiberg, PhD, is the Professor of History and Chair of War Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the US Army War College. His published work focuses on World War I and World War II in global context. The Wall Street Journal named his Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I one of the five best books ever written about that war. He is also the author of two WWII books, The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944 and Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe. His current project finds him taking a deep dive on the subject of Vichy and he will share many of his latest findings with the audience.

Joining Neiberg in conversation will be Rob Citino, Executive Director of the Institute for Study of War and Democracy and Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian. The reception and presentation are free and open to the public but please register to attend.

For more information or to register, call 504-528-1944 x 412.

Time: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

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