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The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America - Michael Neiberg

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The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America - Michael Neiberg

Michael Neiberg, US Army War College

The First World War transformed the United States into a financial powerhouse and global player, despite the reassertion of isolationism in the years that followed. Examining the social, political, and financial forces at work as well as the role of public opinion and popular culture, The Path to War offers both a compelling narrative and the inescapable conclusion that World War One was no parenthetical exception in the American story but a moment of national self-determination.

Lecture presented during the 15th Annual Truman Library Teachers' Conference at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

For more information visit
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Michael S. Neiberg - Why the US Entered the First World War and Why it Matters

Mr. Neiberg's presentation to the National Security Seminar and the class of 2018 during their capstone week.
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America and the Unintended Consequences of War - Michael Neiberg

Michael Neiberg, Chair of War Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit
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America and the World War, 1914-1917 - Michael Neiberg

American entry into the Great War resulted from lengthy debate and soul-searching about national identity and the nation’s role on the world stage. This talk will track American responses to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, and the debates about military preparedness in 1916. American views shifted as global events increasingly threatened national security. By April 1917 most Americans, including most of those who had opposed the war in 1914, had come to see belligerence as America’s only remaining option. Rather than seeing American entry into the war as an exceptional event, we need to understand it as fundamental to American history and America’s relationship to the world in the century since.

Michael Neiberg, Chair of War Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit
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024 The Path to War: The US and World War I

This week we mark the 100th anniversary of the US entry into The Great War, or what we’ve come to know as World War I. The US declaration of war in April 1917 marked a decisive turning point in American history, as for the first time the US engaged in a European war. This decision marked a decisive break with the nation’s longstanding tradition of isolationism when it came to European affairs. But at the outset of the war in 1914, that spirit of isolationism was running high in the US. Reflecting this view, President Woodrow Wilson announced that the US would remain neutral. But over the course of the next three years, many events transpired that gradually moved a majority of Americans to accept US involvement in WWI as inevitable. To help us understand this crucial period in US history from 1914-1917, this episode has two segments. 1) First, I provide a brief overview of the isolationist tradition in US history and how it changed by 1917. To illustrate this transition, I look at two hit songs from the period. In 1915, the top song in the US was explicitly anti-war: “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be A Soldier.” But two years later, the #1 song in the US was “Over There!,” a rousing patriotic ditty extolling America’s commitment to military victory in WWI penned by the famed songwriter George M. Cohan.

2) Second, I talk to historian Michael S. Neiberg about his new book, The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America. It’s a close examination of the years between 1914 – when WW1 began in Europe – and 1917, when the US finally chose to enter the conflict. It’s a fascinating and largely forgotten period in American history.

Show page and credits:

American Jews in WWI - Michael Neiberg

When the war began, most American Jews supported the Central Powers, but would later side with the British and French. Join WWI scholar, Michael Neiberg, as he traces the evolution of American Jewish thought from 1914 to 1917 and shows how events in Europe and the U.S. led American Jews to support America’s entry into the war.

Presented in conjunction with the centennial exhibition, For Liberty: American Jewish Experience in WWI.

Presented in partnership with National Archives at Kansas City, Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and Truman Library Institute.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

Michael Neiberg - "The Outbreak of War in 1914: A New Look at an Old Problem"

Michael Neiberg was a featured speaker at A Century in the Shadow of the Great War, an International Centennial Planning Conference held at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City in March 2013.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

Getting America into the Great War by Michael Neiberg

The first presentation at the Teaching Military History Institute entitled America’s Entry into World War I. This History Institute was sponsored by FPRI's Madeleine and W.W. Keen Butcher History Institute, the First Division Museum at Cantigny ( a division of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation), Carthage College, and FPRI's Center for the Study of America and the West. These remarks were made at the First Division Museum at Cantigny in Wheaton, IL, on April 9, 2016.

Harmon Lecture - Michael S. Neiberg

Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of War, 1914 - Michael Neiberg

Michael Neiberg, US Army War College

The common explanation for the outbreak of World War I depicts Europe as a minefield of nationalism, needing only the slightest pressure to set off an explosion of passion that would rip the continent apart. This talk will present a crucial reexamination of the outbreak of violence in 1914. It will show that ordinary Europeans, unlike their political and military leaders, neither wanted nor expected war during that fateful summer. By training our eyes on the ways that people outside the halls of power reacted to the rapid onset and escalation of the fighting, this talk dispels the notion that Europeans were rabid nationalists intent on mass slaughter. It reveals instead a complex set of allegiances that cut across national boundaries.

Lecture presented during the 15th Annual Truman Library Teachers' Conference at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit
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"Path to War: U.S. Entry into World War I"

On Wednesday, 24 May 2017, the OSD Historical Office hosted a Speaker Series event featuring Dr. Michael Neiberg. He spoke

on Path to War: U.S. Entry into World War I.

"Outbreak of War in 1914: A New Look at an Old Problem" by Dr. Michael S. Neiberg

The First World War set in motion the train of events that gave us fascism, World War II, genocide, the Cold War, and the modern Middle East. Most also know that the war supposedly started when the assassination of an Austrian archduke unleashed the nationalist hatreds that dominated the European continent. Almost one hundred years after the start of the war, this explanation is no longer sufficient. To understand why this most important of all wars began, we must get beyond the simple, yet incorrect, views of Europe that have dominated this discussion for a century. Dr. Neiberg provides a more accurate picture of Europe and the impact of the events of 1914 presenting the context of the First World War in all its complexity.

Length: 75 Minutes

Lecture Date: December 15, 2010

Dr Michael Neiberg Lecture Part 1

Dr. Michael Neiberg's (Professor of History in the Department of National Security Studies at the US Army War College) Lecture The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America Part 1. Given on February 11, 2017 at the East Tennessee Historical Society, Knoxville, TN.

Dr Michael S Neiberg WW1 Symposium USAHEC 20170513

America's Responses to the War in Europe, 1914-1917, Dr. Michael S. Neiberg
Recorded 13 MAY 2017 at the World War One History Symposium at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, PA.

MICHAEL S. NEIBERG is the inaugural Chair of War Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College. His published work specializes on the First and Second World Wars, notably the American and French experiences. His most recent book on the First World War is Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I (Harvard University Press, 2011). The Wall Street Journal recently named it one of the five best books ever written about the war. In October, 2012 Basic Books published his The Blood of Free Men, a history of the liberation of Paris in 1944. In May, 2015 Basic published his Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe. In October, Oxford University Press published his Path to War, a history of American responses to the Great War, 1914-1917.

The Outbreak of the First World War

In this lecture, Prof Michael Neiberg explores a number of themes relating to the outbreak of the First World War, from the diplomatic crisis to the reaction of civilian populations.

Were Europeans as 'eager' for war as is commonly perceived? Are there parallels in what's happening in the world today?

The Western Front Association is a UK registered charity.

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Dr Michael Neiberg Lecture Part 2

Dr. Michael Neiberg's (Professor of History in the Department of National Security Studies at the US Army War College) Lecture The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America Part 2. Given on February 11, 2017 at the East Tennessee Historical Society, Knoxville, TN.

"The Road to Hell? Intentions, Uncertainty and the Origins of World War I," Dr. Sebastian Rosato

A century after the outbreak of World War I, there is still little consensus on its causes. The lessons learned are of particular importance for the United States and the world today. University of Notre Dame Professor Sebastian Rosato specializes in the theory and history of great power politics and will question established explanations and develop new arguments about the causes of the Great War.

The event is part of the Hesburgh Lecture Series and is presented in partnership with the Notre Dame Club of Kansas City.

Recorded April 19, 2015 in J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

"From Wars Toward the Great War: The Ottomans and the Vortex of WWI," Dr. Michael Reynolds

Dr. Michael Reynolds, historian and author of Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1918, explores the Ottoman Empire's losing struggle to preserve its existence from 1876 to 1914 to explain why the Ottomans made the decision to enter the Great War on the side of the Central Powers in 1914.

Presented at the World War I Historical Association Symposium, The Coming of the Great War, November 8-9, 2013.

Recorded November 8, 2013 in J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

Dr. Michael Neiberg on World War I and the Centennial Commemoration

Dr. Michael Neiberg, United States Army War College, discusses World War I, why history is important, and the World War I Centennial Commemoration.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

If You Are In Favor of the Kaiser Keep it to Yourself, Dr. Michael Neiberg

Michael Neiberg is a Professor of History in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

Dr. Neiberg discusses the reactions of everyday Americans to the outbreak of World War I. He argues that such a bottom up approach provides a better understanding of what American views were and how they changed than the traditional top down view that American attitudes reflected those of President Woodrow Wilson.

Presented November 8, 2014 as part of the National World War I Museum and United States World War I Centennial Commission 2014 Symposium, 1914: Global War & American Neutrality.

The Symposium was held in association with The Western Front Association East Coast Branch and the World War I Historical Association. Sponsored by Colonel J's, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund and Verlag Militaria.

For more information about the National WWI Museum and Memorial visit

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