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Bookmen at War: Libraries, Intelligence, and Cultural Policy in World War II

The Monuments Men have been justly celebrated for their rescue of art treasures in World War II. The focus on individual heroism, however, obscures the larger impact of the war on modern policies and practices toward information, knowledge, and culture. Kathy Peiss explores the role of librarians, collectors, and intelligence agents to explain why and how books mattered in a time of conflict and devastation.

Date & Time

Monday
Oct. 5, 2015
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

The Monuments Men have been justly celebrated for their rescue of art treasures in World War II.  The focus on individual heroism, however, obscures the larger impact of the war on modern policies and practices toward information, knowledge, and culture.  Kathy Peiss explores the role of librarians, collectors, and intelligence agents to explain why and how books mattered in a time of conflict and devastation.

Kathy Peiss is the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a specialist in modern U.S. cultural history and gender history.  She received her B.A. from Carleton College and Ph.D. from Brown University.  Her books include Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style.

The Washington History Seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. See www.wilsoncenter.org/collection/washington-history-seminarfor the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for their support.

Speaker

Kathy Peiss

Kathy Peiss

Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History, University of Pennsylvania
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Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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