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Journalist, historian to speak in part of multiyear event commemorating World War I

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

LAWRENCE — Sir Max Hastings, author of 12 books on military history, including "Inferno: The World at War 1939-45," will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the Lied Center Pavilion on “Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War.” The event is free and open to the public. A reception and book sigining will follow the event. 

Hastings’ publications have been celebrated internationally, including "Bomber Command (1979), Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy" and "Inferno: The World at War, 1939-45." He now writes regularly for the Daily Mail and Financial Times, of which he is a contributing editor, and reviews books for the Sunday Times and the New York Review of Books.

Hastings' newest book, "Catastrophe 1914," recreates this dramatic year, from the diplomatic crisis to the fighting in Belgium and France on the western front, and Serbia and Galicia, Spain, to the east. He gives vivid accounts of the battles and frank assessments of generals and political leaders, and shows why it was inevitable that the first war among modern industrial nations could not produce a decisive victory, resulting in a war of attrition. Throughout, the reader encounters high officials and average soldiers, as well as civilians on the home front, giving a vivid portrait of how a continent became embroiled in a war that would change everything.

The lecture is part of a campuswide collaboration to commemorate the centennial of World War I. More events sponsored by the Hall Center, other campus units and community partners will be planned over the next four years as KU and the surrounding community explore the war and its impact. The next lecture planned is at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28, 2014, in the Lied Center Pavilion. Historian Sean McMeekin of Koc University, Turkey, will speak on “July 1914: Countdown to War.”

The talk is co-sponsored by the Hall Center for the Humanities, the European Studies Program, the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies and the Center for Global & International Studies.