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Muhlenberg's Center for Ethics to host lecture that explores controversy around U.S. involvement in WWI


As part of the Center for Ethic's "War and Peacebuilding" series, the College will host Michael Kazin, author and Organization of American Historians (OAH) Lecturer.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 02:48 PM

The presentation, "Should the U.S. Have Fought in World War One," will take place on March 28 at 7 p.m. in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum. It is free and open to the public.

The talk will be related to Kazin's recently released book, "War Against War." The work tackles the controversy of the United States’ decision to take part in the First World War by declaring war on Germany, which ended up being one of the most consequential and deadly wars in American history.

In the spring of 1917, three years after the start of the war, President Wilson sided with the pro-war party, and for the most part, was endorsed by Congress. This decision has been questioned by historians for almost a century.

The Center for Ethics 2016-2017 series presents numerous discussions and speakers that focus around the theme of "War and Peacebuilding." The talks will attempt to examine the issues and questions of why America has been in near-constant warfare over the years and how this should be addressed in order to have peace.  

Kazin is professor of history at Georgetown University and has been co-editor of Dissent since 2009. He is the award-winning author of "War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918," "American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation" and more. In addition, he is editor-in-chief of The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History, co-editor of the anthology "Americanism," and editor of In Search of Progressive America.

The OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching and presentation of American history and encourages wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of all practitioners of history.

A related presentation by professor Gordon Goldberg, sponsored by the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding, will take place on Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Forum, focusing on the early support of the Jewish Community for American intervention in the war. This event will be free and open to the public.

Upcoming spring Center for Ethics events include:

LVAIC Conference From War to Peace, with presentation by Theatre of War

‌April 7, 8:30-4:00, locations around campus
Theatre of War performance at 1:30 in Seegers Union’s Event Space

A talk by Matthew Payne, assistant professor of film, television and theatre at the University of Notre Dame, is being confirmed for the first week of April. To get the most up-to-date schedules, visit the Center for Ethics website.

Chris Sistare, professor of philosophy and co-director of philosophy and political thought, serves as director; Brian Mello, associate professor of political science, Roland Kushner, associate professor of business, and Jack Gambino, professor of political science, are this year’s program directors.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential, liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences as well as selected pre-professional programs, including accounting, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.