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Department of History

FSU History News

Michael Bryant will deliver the World War Two Institute's Third Annual Fall Lecture, "Speaking the Name of the Unspeakable: the West German Treblinka Trial, 1964-65.” Dr. Bryant, legal scholar and German historian, will speak about his recent book, Eyewitness to Genocide: The Operation Reinhard Death Camp Trials, 1955-1966, in which he evaluates the West German courts’ sentencing of defendants who had been officers and guards at three major death camps, during the Nazis’ deadly “Operation Reinhard”. Bryant gives a detailed history of the trials, and successfully evaluates the cause of the trials' unusual results. The lecture will take place October 21st at Miller’s Hall, University Center C, Room 3300, 296 Champions Way, Tallahassee, FL at 5:30 with a reception to follow. 

Edward E. Baptist (Cornell) will speak on his book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism on Monday, Oct. 6 at 1:00 PM in Strozier Library. In this pathbreaking book, Baptist reveals how the expansion of slavery drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence. The book has received a great deal of attention, not least in the aftermath of a controversial review (subsequently withdrawn) in the Economist.

Avina Specters

Last month, Oxford University Press released Prof. Alex Aviña's book Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside. "Specters of Revolution offers a penetrating account of guerrilla struggles in modern Mexico. Alexander Aviña captures how peasant longings, political repression, and the violence of poverty created a daring movement for justice. The state's response-a dirty war-evokes the darkest moments of Latin America's military regimes. At times hopeful, at times tragic, Aviña provides a profoundly moving Cold War drama." --Tanalís Padilla. Get it at your local bookstore, or online. Congratulations Alex!