Spring 2013 International Lecture Series – Lecture #1

When: April 6, 2013

From: 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Lecture Title:  Why the World Went to War in 1914

Speaker:  Dr. John Dobson, Emeritus Professor of History, Oklahoma State University

Please note NEW location: Santa Fe Women’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail

Cost: $10 CIR Members (or $25 for series of 3 lectures); $12 Non-members & Guests

Although most people know that Germany and Austria led the coalition that took on much of the rest of Europe, relatively few know why the war began or what the warring nations hoped to achieve. This talk will begin with an examination of the complex alliances and nationalistic ambitions that took shape in the preceding half century and set the stage for the fateful decision to go to war in 1914. Even then, a lack of clarity in war aims and other factors caused the United States to hesitate for nearly three years before entering the conflict. The talk will conclude with a review of why, after all, Americans were drawn into Europe’s war.

As a professor of history, John Dobson devoted much of his research and writing to analyses of international relations. After earning a bachelor’s degree with a joint major in physics and history at MIT, he went on to complete a doctorate in history at the University of Wisconsin. He has taught at universities in the United States, Ireland, and Scotland, specializing in diplomatic and political history. He also held several university administrative posts including dean of the college of arts and  science both at Iowa State University and Oklahoma State University. He is currently the president of the Santa Fe Council on International Relations and serves as a faculty lecturer on MIT alumni tours around the world.

His most recent book is a history of American foreign relations concepts. It includes an extensive discussion of how dismayed and disillusioned the United States was when the war broke out in 1914 and why the nation reluctantly decided to enter the conflict three years later.

Cost: $10 CIR Members (or $25 for series of 3 lectures); $12 Non-members & Guests

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