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History Research Colloquium: Olivier Burtin (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) will give a talk on "A Nation of Veterans: War, Citizenship, and the Welfare State in the Modern United States"

Dec 09, 2019 | 02:00 PM
Dr. Olivier Burtin

Dr. Olivier Burtin

A Nation of Veterans: War, Citizenship, and the Welfare State in the Modern United States

Abstract: This project recovers the central role played by veterans’ groups in the creation of a separate, superior, and sprawling welfare state for former soldiers in the United States from 1940 to 1960. Contrary to the conventional view that the United States has a longstanding tradition of treating veterans favorably, historical evidence suggests that this question was in fact highly contested. Both during and after World War II, former soldiers had to mobilize to obtain and then defend their advantages in the face of criticism from liberals and conservatives alike. They succeeded in permanently embedding their distinct and privileged status in public policy only by rallying behind their interest groups, the largest of which—the American Legion—is the focus of this project. In the process, they formed one of the most powerful social movements of the wartime and postwar period and inscribed the distinction between veterans and civilians onto American politics, culture, and welfare. 

Bio: Olivier Burtin is an Incoming Research Fellow at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He is a political historian of the modern United States, with particular interests in the relationship between the state and society, war, welfare, and citizenship. His current book project was a finalist for the 2018 Society of American Historians' Allan Nevins Prize and is under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press. His work has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of Policy History, Social Science History, War & Society, and Reviews in American History. A native of France, he obtained his Ph.D. in History from Princeton University.

For more information please visit https://www.amerikanistik.uni-muenchen.de/personen/mitarbeiter/olivier-burtin/index.html

Time & Location

Dec 09, 2019 | 02:00 PM

John F. Kennedy Institute
Lansstr. 7-9
14195 Berlin

Room 201