Michael S. NeibergArchives
tags: Top Young Historians
Michael S. Neiberg, 38
Teaching Position: Professor of History and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society, the University of Southern Mississippi, 2005-present
Area of Research: Military history, Nineteenth century, World War I, American Military history
Education: Ph.D., History, Carnegie Mellon University, 1996
Major Publications: Neiberg is the author of The Second Battle of the Marne, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008); Soldiers' Lives Through History: Volume 4, The Nineteenth Century, (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 2006); Fighting the Great War: A Global History, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005), available in a Spanish translation, La Gran Guerra, (Barcelona: Libros Paidós, 2006), and was the Winner of Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award, 2006; Warfare and Society in Europe, 1898 to the Present, (London: Routledge Press, 2004); Foch: Supreme Allied Commander in the Great War, (Dulles, Va.: Brassey's Press, 2003); Warfare in World History, (London: Routledge Press, 2001); Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military Service, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), finalist for the Thomas J. Wilson Prize, named as an Association of American University Presses "Book for Understanding our Times."
Neiberg is the editor of The Great War Reader, (New York: New York University Press, 2006); editor, International Library of Political History: Fascism, (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), International Library of Political History series, Jeremy Black, general editor; editor, International Library of Military History: World War I, (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), International Library of Military History series, Jeremy Black, general editor. Neiberg is also the author with Steven Schlossman of The Unwelcome Decline of Molly Marine: Historical Perspectives on Women in the American Military, 1994, prepared under the direction of Dr. Bernard Rostker for the RAND Corporation's National Defense Research Institute.
Neiberg is currently working on War and Peace in the Modern World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, under contract).
Neiberg is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, book chapters and reviews including among others: "Civilian Daily Lives in European Warfare, 1815-1900" in Linda Frey, ed. European Civilians in Time of War, (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 2007), 175-218; "Civilians Daily Lives during World War I," in Jeanne T. Heidler and David S. Heidler, eds. The United States from the Age of Imperialism to the War on Terror, (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 2007), 35-66. "War and Society" in Matthew Hughes and William Philpott, eds. The Palgrave Guide to Modern Military History, (London: Palgrave, 2006), 42-60; "Revisiting the Myths: New Approaches to the Great War," Contemporary European History 13, 4 (November, 2004), 505-515, and "Cromwell on the Bed Stand: Allied Civil-Military Relations in World War I" in Jenny MacLeod and Pierre Pursiegle, eds. Uncovered Fields: New Approaches In First World War Studies, (Amsterdam: Brill Publishers, 2003), 61-78.
Awards: Neiberg is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Innovation and Basic Research Award, University of Southern Mississippi, 2008;
Selected Participant, Philip Merrill Center, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University Workshop, 2006;
USAFA International Programs Committee Faculty Development Grant, 2003;
Finalist, Heiser Award for Teaching Excellence, United States Air Force Academy, 2000, 2001, and 2005;
Dean's Fund to Promote Academic Excellence Grant, United States Air Force Academy, 2001;
Stephen L. Orrison Award for Excellence in Mentoring, United States Air Force Academy, 2000;
Outstanding Academy Educator Award, United States Air Force Academy, 1999;
Spencer Foundation Research Grant, 1997-1998;
United States Army Center of Military History Dissertation Fellowship, 1995-1996;
Mark Stevens Research Travel Grant, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, 1995;
Finalist, Graduate Student Teaching Award, Carnegie Mellon University, 1994;
Goldman Award for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon University, 1993-1994.
Formerly Professor of History, United States Air Force Academy. Neiberg was the Guest Editor, Organization of American Historians Magazine of History: World War I 17, 1 (October, 2002). Neiberg was a Consultant, Lucas Films, The Young Indiana Jones DVD Collectionl; Guest of the French Government, Ceremonies Marking the 250th Anniversary of the Birth of the Marquis de Lafayette, Paris, December 12-14, 2007. He made a number of radio/interview appearances including; La Première, RTBF, Belgian National Radio; Larry Mantle, Air Talk, KPCC FM, Los Angeles, California; Warren Olney, To the Point, KCRW FM, Santa Monica, California, and Deutsche Welle Radio, Germany. Neiberg has written newspaper articles for the Los Angeles Times and New York Newsday, and has been interviewed for in the Kansas City Star, the Wall Street Journal; the New York Times, and the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
"Mike, any idiot can get a Ph.D."
Such was the advice I got shortly after I had begun graduate school. I was visiting with a high school friend of mine whose mother had been a dean of a college of social work. She had asked me about my first reactions to entering a doctoral program. I told her that I was concerned that most of the people in my cohort seemed a good deal smarter than I was. At first I was taken aback by her response, but she soon explained what she meant. Being smart was, in her opinion, no guarantee of success in graduate school. The key, she told me, was to work hard and be creative.
Of course, I didn't fully understand what she was trying to tell me any more than I understood the advice of one of my undergraduate mentors that "Professors aren't what you think they are." Nevertheless, both comments stuck in my head and wouldn't leave me alone. But as I completed course work and prepared a dissertation topic, I began to understand at least the first comment. What I needed to do was take a subject that seemed banal or prosaic and make people see its importance. Better still, I might take a subject people thought they understood and make them see it in an entirely new light.
Along the way I realized another aspect of the historian's mind. We all have a time and place that interests us and draws our attention, such as Antebellum America or Third Republic France. But we also have a set of questions that we seek answers to, even if, in my case, it took me years to figure out what those questions were. I finally concluded that my core interests revolved around warfare and the impacts it has on both societies and individuals.
Eventually that path has led me to an intensive study of the First World War. I think I have been drawn to the 1914-1918 period because the causes of the war have always struck me as so disproportionate to its effects. Currently, I am examining the process by which the lives of millions of Europeans were forever altered by a chain of events begun by the assassination of little-known and less-admired Austrian Archduke. I am interested less in understanding how the war began than in understanding how the war that followed was possible. This project is informed by recent trends in transnational history, an exciting and potentially fruitful method for answering the questions I am posing.
For the past 15 years, I have kept the sage words of my friend's mother at heart. I am still not sure if she meant them literally or facetiously, although I have always hoped it was the latter. It has taken me a long time to figure out what those words mean, but now I think I have it. They have turned out to be the best words of wisdom I ever received.
By Michael Neiberg
About Michael Neiberg
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