World War and Society in the Twentieth Century: World War II Open Learning Course

The free video lectures of this course are made available as part of Harvard Extension School's Opening Learning Initiative.

About the Course

The course World War and Society in the Twentieth Century: World War II is a thematic exploration of the war and its time through feature films, primary sources, and scholarly interpretations.

It seeks to provide a means for analyzing and evaluating what one reads or sees about World War II in terms of historical accuracy and for gaining a broader understanding of different perspectives. Themes include the impact of war on soldiers and civilians, on the home front, women in war, the Japanese and German viewpoints, and postwar issues. Films include Mrs. MiniverThe PianistThe Winter WarSo Proudly We HailTaking SidesThe Hiding Place, and The Cranes Are Flying.

Harvard Faculty

Charles S. Maier, Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University. Maier has published several books, including Among Empires. He has served as director of the Center for European Studies and as chair of the undergraduate social studies program. He teaches undergraduate courses on world history in the modern era and a course on international history with Niall Ferguson.

The Lecture Videos

The recorded lectures are from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences course Historical Study B-54, which was offered as HIST E-1890, an online course at Harvard Extension School.

These lecture videos are currently being reproduced and captioned. Links to the new videos will be available by mid-July. 

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