Scholars to Discuss Myths of World War II

Three World War II scholars will discuss the “Myths of World War II” beginning at 5:30 pm on April 27 in the Pogue Auditorium at the Marshall Foundation in Lexington.

Dr. Michael C. C. Adams, Regents Professor of History Emeritus at Northern Kentucky University and author of The Best War Ever, will analyze the triumph of the Good War myth in the last years of the 20th century, its consequences, and then its ebb after 9/11.

Dr. Conrad C. Crane, chief of historical services for the Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks, will discuss numerous myths of the air war, the dangers of monocausal explanations about the defeat of Japan, and the misuse of historical analogies.

Dr. Mark A. Stoler, professor emeritus of history at the University of Vermont and editor of volumes 6 and 7 of The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, will explore myths about prewar appeasement and U.S. “isolationism,” Pearl Harbor and U.S. entry into the war, the Grand Alliance and the Anglo-American “Special Relationship,” and the American role in defeating the Axis Powers, and the impact of these myths on postwar U.S. foreign and military policies.

Reservations for this event are required by calling Leigh McFaddin at 540-463-7103, ext. 138 or by email to Seating will be first come, first served. Members and students will be admitted free; non-members will pay $15 at the door.

Guests are invited to see the new exhibition, “Six Degrees of Marshall,” in the Lower Gallery that evening. The exhibition uses an infographic to connect Marshall to people and programs important to both world wars.

The individuals who led in World War II—Marshall, Patton, MacArthur, Churchill, Roosevelt, Truman, among others—were involved in World War I. Their direct involvement in the first war informed their leadership and the decisions they made in the second. Marshall evolved from a battle planner and logistics genius into a global military strategist drawing on the knowledge and experience of coalition warfare and fighting on a global scale. As chief of staff of the U.S. Army during World War II, he operated both at the head of the US military and behind the scenes, establishing his reputation as the “organizer of victory” and as an indispensable man of World War II.

The exhibition Six Degrees of Marshall not only maps out Marshall’s connections to individuals who shaped him but those he selected to lead during World War II. The exhibition also features artifacts on loan from the MacArthur Memorial, General George S. Patton’s engraved pistol from the Virginia Military Institute Museum, a D-Day map carried ashore by Gen. Leonard Gerow, and World War I artifacts from the Marshall Museum’s own collection.

This event is a part of the Marshall Legacy Series and is being presented with sponsorship from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The George C. Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy during a four-year series of exhibitions, speakers and programs centered on key themes or episodes from General Marshall’s career.