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Woodrow Wilson and the Great War


Lecturer, Michael A. Butler, Ph.D.
Tuesdays, June 16,23, 30
10:30 am - 12 noon

Online with Zoom

This series of three lectures will examine the impact of one of our most significant Presidents on a world at war. Topics include Wilson as a political leader, his diplomacy during the war; the Paris Peace Conference; the Senate’s debate over ratification of the Treaty of Versailles; and Wilson’s influence on the diplomacy of the decades that followed. We will also examine aspects of Wilson’s character; consider the impact of his failing health on the politics and diplomacy of the period, and ask how his relationships with counterparts such as British Prime Minister Lloyd George, French President Clemenceau, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Colonel House, and his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, shaped the history of the period.

Michael A. Butler retired from the Foreign Service of the Department of State in 2010 at the rank of Minister-Counselor (two-star military equivalent) after a thirty-year career. Since 2012 he has taught in the History department at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Professor Butler’s Foreign Service postings included Oporto, Lisbon, Washington, Bucharest, Buenos Aires, Oslo, Madrid, San Salvador and Helsinki.  From 1993-1995, he was seconded to the US Army as Visiting Professor of Social Sciences at the US Military Academy, West Point.  Professor Butler served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State George P. Shultz and was Chargé d’Affaires (acting Ambassador) for seven months during his Helsinki posting.

Professor Butler holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia, with a focus on American Diplomatic History and a secondary focus on the history of twentieth-century Europe.  At William & Mary, he teaches the history of international politics, with a special interest in the intersection of history and diplomatic practice.  Professor Butler is the author of Cautious Visionary: Cordell Hull and Trade Reform, 1933-1937 (Kent State University Press, 1998) and currently researches foreign policy aspects of the Hoover-Roosevelt transition of 1932-1933.  The Dean of the College of William & Mary honored Professor Butler with the College’s Excellence in Teaching Award during the 2018-2019 academic year.

The fee for the 3-week series is $30. Following the lecture there will be Q & A session.

A Zoom link will be sent out on Monday, June 15th before the series begins on Tuesday, June 16th.

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