An organization devoted to covering all aspects of World War I has honored a University of Southern Mississippi history professor for his scholarship on one of its key battles.
Dr. Michael Neiberg is the recipient of the U.S branch of the Western Front Association’s 2008 Norman B. Tomlinson Jr. Prize for the best work of history in English on World War I for his monograph “The Second Battle of the Marne,” published by the University of Indiana. The prize includes a check for $3,000.
Neiberg’s work looks at how the German advance toward Paris in the summer of 1918 was thrown back in the first major battle of the war that included the recently arrived American Expeditionary Forces fighting alongside their British, French and Italian allies.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award and be in the company of such distinguished past winners,” Neiberg said. “This is truly one of the highlights of my career.”
The panel awarding the Tomlinson Prize consists of scholars and military veterans, including chairman Dennis Showalter of Colorado College, a former president of the Society for Military History; retired Brigadier General Robert A. Doughty, a former chairman of the History Department at the United States Military Academy (West Point); and retired ambassador Leonard G. Shurtleff, past President of The Western Front Association’s United States Branch.
“Dr. Neiberg's seminal account on the Second Battle of the Marne expands the contemporary scholarship on those important events of 1918 on the Western Front, especially centered on the French Army," said Doran Cart, president of the Western Front Association’s U.S. branch.
Neiberg, who joined the Southern Miss faculty in 2005, is co-director of the Department of History’s Center for the Study of War and Society and director of graduate studies for the department. His areas of expertise include World War I, war and society, American military history and the history of France.
His others works include “Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military Service,” which was a finalist for the Thomas J. Wilson Prize and was named as a “Book for Understanding Our Times” by the Association of American University Presses.
Last year he received a prestigious Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation grant to fund his research on a book examining how ordinary Europeans viewed the causes of World War I and its impact on their lives.
Founded in 1980 in the United Kingdom as the leading educational charity on World War I, the Western Front Association covers all aspects of the war and has branches worldwide. Its activities include lectures, battlefield tours, museum visits, school competitions and support for various research projects related to the war.
The Western Front Association’s Web site includes various resources for those interested in learning more about WWI and the WFA, including a discussion forum (The Front Forum) and multiple articles examining the war. To learn more about the WFA, online visit www.westernfrontassociation.com.
Book cover: Second Battle of the Marne
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.