October 5: Kathy Peiss on “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.

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 seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. Seewww.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.  Reservations requested because of limited seating.

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