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Kluge Center Event Marks the Centennial of the Paris Peace Conference

A view of the interior of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, with the heads of state sitting and standing before a long table. Front Row: Dr Johannes Bell (Germany) signing with Herr Hermann Muller leaning over him. Middle row (seated, left to right): General Tasker H Bliss, Col E M House, Mr Henry White, Mr Robert Lansing, President Woodrow Wilson (United States); M Georges Clemenceau (France); Mr D Lloyd George, Mr A Bonar Law, Mr Arthur J Balfour, Viscount Milner, Mr G N Barnes (Great Britain); The Marquis Saionzi (Japan). Back row (left to right): M Eleutherios Venizelos (Greece); Dr Affonso Costa (Portugal); Lord Riddell (British Press); Sir George E Foster (Canada); M Nikola Pachitch (Serbia); M Stephen Pichon (France); Col Sir Maurice Hankey, Mr Edwin S Montagu (Great Britain); the Maharajah of Bikaner (India); Signor Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (Italy); M Paul Hymans (Belgium); General Louis Botha (South Africa); Mr W M Hughes (Australia).

The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 1919, by William Orpen. Credit: The Imperial War Museum: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/20780

On Wednesday, January 16, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress will host “The United States and the World: Legacies of the Paris Peace Conference”.

This event marks the 100th anniversary of the Paris Peace Conference, which ended World War I and previewed many of the issues that would define international affairs in the 20th century up to today. The event also coincides with the final days of the Library of Congress exhibition: Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I.

This panel discussion will explore themes of Wilsonianism, the ideological origins of the United Nations, the projection of American power, and a new international order.

Prior to the discussion, attendees are welcome to view key items which provide additional context about the United States’ role in facilitating the end of the war. These include Woodrow Wilson’s original shorthand draft of his “Fourteen Points” address, Wilson’s Nobel Peace Prize, and documents related to the 1919 Pan-African Conference organized by W.E.B. Du Bois and Blaise Diagne.

The event will be held at 3 p.m. in room LJ-119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are available for this free event, but not required. Visit the event ticketing site for more information and to secure your ticket. Entry is not guaranteed.

Panelists include Margaret MacMillan, Harold James, Charles Kupchan, and Michael Neiberg.

Margaret MacMillan is Professor of History at the University of Toronto, and the former Warden of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. She is the author of the 2001 book “Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World” on the subject of the Paris Peace Conference, and “The War That Ended Peace: How Europe Abandoned Peace for the First World War” (2013), among others.

Harold James, Claude and Lore Kelly Professor in European Studies, is Professor of History and International Affairs and the Director of the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society at Princeton University. He studies economic and financial history and modern European history. His recent books include “Making the European Monetary Union” (2012) and the 2016 title “The Euro and the Battle of Economic Ideas” (with Markus K. Brunnermeier and Jean-Pierre Landau).

Charles Kupchan is senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is also professor of international affairs in the Walsh School of Foreign Service and Department of Government at Georgetown University. He is the author of numerous books, including “No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn” (2012); “How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace” (2010); and “Nationalism and Nationalities in the New Europe” (1995).

Michael Neiberg is Professor of History in the department of national security and strategy at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He previously taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy and was the co-director of the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Southern Mississippi. Neiberg’s published work specializes on the First and Second World Wars, notably the American and French experiences. His most recent book on the First World War is “Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I” (Harvard University Press, 2011).

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