After Germany’s defeat in WWII, Europe lay in tatters. Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent. Food and fuel were scarce. Britain was bankrupt, and Germany had been reduced to rubble. In July of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to negotiate a lasting peace: a peace that would finally put an end to the conflagration that had started in 1914, a peace under which Europe could be rebuilt.
In a discussion of his award-winning book, Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe, acclaimed historian Michael Neiberg brings the turbulent conference to life, vividly capturing the delegates’ personalities: Truman, trying to escape from the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt, who had died only months before; Churchill, bombastic and seemingly out of touch; Stalin, cunning and meticulous.
Michael Neiberg is a professor of history and the Chair of War Studies at the U.S. Army War College, and the author of several award-winning books. Prior to his book talk, he will be presented with the Truman Library Institute’s 2016 Harry S. Truman Book Award.
The Harry S. Truman Book Award recognizes the Institute’s selection of the best book published within a two-year period that deals primarily with some aspect of the life or career of Harry S. Truman or the history of the United States during the Truman presidency, 1945-1953.
Crosby Kemper, III, chief executive officer of the Kansas City Public Library, chairs the Truman Book Award Committee, which selected Potsdam from a competitive field of 26 entries. Other committee members include Nick Cullather, professor of history, Indiana University at Bloomington; Alonzo L. Hamby, distinguished professor emeritus of history, Ohio University; Rev. Wilson D. (Bill) Miscamble, C.S.C., professor of history, University of Notre Dame; and Jason Parker, associate professor of history, Texas A&M University.
This Signature Event of the Truman Library Institute is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and funded, in part, by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
POTSDAM: THE END OF WORLD WAR II AND THE REMAKING OF EUROPE
FEATURING MICHAEL NEIBERG
6:00 p.m. Wine Reception; 6:30 p.m. Program
Plaza Branch, Kansas City Public Library
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. wine reception precedes the event. Seating is on a first-come basis.