Up from the Smoke and Ash of War: Examining the Sequel to Global Conflict, 1944–1956


-On the 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II-

This two-part, two-semester program will consider past and current scholarship on the topic of mid-20th century, post-bellum Western Europe, and America’s role in negotiated peace and future international alliances. In this, the spring term, award-winning books on the topic of World War II’s aftermath (1944–1956) will be presented, with discussions led by Professor of Government Giulio Gallarotti, laying the groundwork for a fall 2020 daylong event considering past and currently trending issues of nationhood, identity, and global stability.

Part 1: In the Thrall of Peace: The West after WWII                                             

Texts for 3 successive spring term meetings:                                                                                                

March — Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944–1945 (one of the “Liberation Trilogy”; Pulitzer Prize for History)

April — A.J. Baime, The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World (New York Times best seller)

May — Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956 (Pulitzer Prize for History: Gulag)


Part 2: Exploring Nationalism, Populism and Alliances in a New World Order              

(A Daylong Seminar, coming fall 2020)

Look for future information on this fall 2020 daylong, follow-up event, during which scholars and panelists will examine the topic of mid-20th century, post-bellum Western Europe, and America’s role in a range of crucial international relationships and alliances.

In this daylong seminar coming in fall 2020, Part 2 follows Part 1’s careful examination of crucial events in the years immediately following the end of hostilities. We will explore our contemporary state-of-affairs in the shifting Western nations’ political and social landscape, which is threatened and destabilized by fears of unbridled immigration; weakening economic output; and right-wing inspired, misogynistic rhetoric and impulses toward violence.

Co-moderator: Richard J. Friswell, Giulio Gallarotti (Saturday, October 3, 2020, location TBA) 

Instructor: Richard J. Friswell and Giulio Gallarotti

Dates: Thursdays – March 19, April 16, May 14,

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Location: RJ Julia Bookstore, Lower Level

Cost: $245 (textbooks included)

Click here to learn more about the Co-moderators: RICHARD J. FRISWELL & GIULIO GALLAROTTI