Weinberg, Gerhard L. 1928–
Weinberg, Gerhard L. 1928–
(Gerhard Ludwig Weinberg)
Born January 1, 1928, in Hanover, Germany; immigrated to the United States, 1940; son of Max B. (an accountant) and Kathe Weinberg; married Wilma Jeffrey, March 29, 1958; children: David. Education: New York College for Teachers (now State University of New York at Albany), B.A., 1948; University of Chicago, M.A., 1949, Ph.D., 1951. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish.
Home—Chapel Hill, NC. Office—Department of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
Historian, educator, and writer. Columbia University, research analyst in war documentation project in Alexandria, VA, 1951-54; University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, lecturer in modern European history, 1954-55; University of Kentucky, Lexington, visiting lecturer, 1955-56, assistant professor of modern European history, 1957-59; American Historical Association, Alexandria, VA, director of microfilm project, 1956-57; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, associate professor, 1959-63, professor of modern European history, 1963-74; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of History, 1974-96. Consultant on German documents microfilming, American Historical Association, 1957-60. Chairman, Ann Arbor City Democratic party, 1961-63; member, Democratic State Central Committee of Michigan, 1963-67. Military service: U.S. Army, 1946-47.
American Historical Association, American Committee on the History of the Second World War, Conference Group for Central European History, Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession.
Rockefeller Foundation and Social Science Research Council fellow, 1962-63; American Council of Learned Societies fellow, 1965-66; Guggenheim fellow, 1971-72; George Louis Beer Prize from American Historical Association, 1972, for The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany; National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, 1978-79; Herbert Hoover Book Award, 1994; Halverson Prize of the Western Association for German Studies; Distinguished Book Award, Society for Military History, 1995; inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1996.
(With others) Guide to Captured German Documents, Air University, Human Resources Research Institute (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL), 1952.
Germany and the Soviet Union, 1939-41, E.J. Brill (Leiden, the Netherlands), 1954, reprinted, 1972.
(Editor) Adolf Hitler, Hitlers Zweites Buch: Ein Dokument aus dem Jahre 1928, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (Stuttgart, Germany), 1961, revised, translated into English, and published as Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf, Enigma Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany, 1933-36: Diplomatic Revolution in Europe, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1969.
(New introduction) Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 14 November 1945-1 October 1946, AMS Press (New York, NY), 1971.
(Editor) Transformation of a Continent: Europe in the Twentieth Century, Burgess (Minneapolis, MN), 1975.
The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany: Starting World War II, 1937-1939, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1980.
World in the Balance: Behind the Scenes of World War II, University Press of New England for Brandeis University Press (Hanover, MA), 1981.
The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany, 2 volumes, Humanities Press (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1994.
A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1994, 2nd edition, 2005.
Germany, Hitler, and World War II: Essays in Modern German and World History, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
(Author of introduction) David Bankier, Secret Intelligence and the Holocaust: Collected Essays from the Colloquium at the City University of New York, Enigma Books (New York, NY), 2006.
(Author of introduction) Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944: Secret Conversations, edited by H.R. Trevor-Roper, Enigma Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Also author of guides to German records for National Archives. Consultant, with Mark R. Peattie, on the book World War II Chronicle, Publications International (Lincolnwood, IL), 2007. Contributor of articles and reviews to professional journals.
Gerhard L. Weinberg is a highly respected historian whose expertise includes modern Germany, modern diplomatic history, and World War II. He is the author and editor of numerous books related to his academic interests. While working in the repository of captured German records in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1958, Weinberg discovered a manuscript that Adolf Hitler had dictated in 1928 but never published. In 1961, Weinberg published the work in German as Hitlers Zweites Buch: Ein Dokument aus dem Jahre 1928. Over forty years later, he produced the first complete and annotated edition of the book in English, published as Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf, in 2003. The manuscript, which Hitler did not want to be published or publicized, presents the startling ideas that later drove him as the Nazi mastermind. Nitzan Lebovic, writing for Humanities and Social Sciences Online, noted that "the editor and translator, indeed, have done excellent work." He added: "Minor printing mistakes … do not affect the high level of scholarly editing." Barbara Walden, writing in Library Journal, also commended the translation, preface, and thorough annotations, pointing out that the editor's "scholarly care does not blunt Hitler's verbose and meandering style or the vileness of the thoughts presented."
One of the author's most highly praised books is A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II. It was first published in 1994 with a second edition appearing in 2005. "Writers … have devalued the term magisterial, which is a pity, because this remarkable volume deserves it," wrote Eliot A. Cohen in a review of the first edition for Foreign Affairs. In his book, the author offers a global account of the war that encompassed six continents. He provides a history of events leading up to the war and the actions of the Axis Powers, the Allies, and neutral countries in every theater of the war. Weinberg also explores how events in various parts of the world affected events in other distant parts of the world. Williamson Murray wrote in Commentary that as an account of World War II, "this [book] stands well above the rest, a benchmark for anyone who seeks truly to understand the greatest conflict in human history."
In his 1995 book, Germany, Hitler, and World War II: Essays in Modern German and World History, the author presents essays covering a wide variety of topics concerning the war, including the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, the Nazis' early euthanasia program for the elderly, and the German perspective on the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Other topics addressed by the essays, many not previously published in English, include the Holocaust; the connections between the European and Pacific theaters of war; and a comparative analysis of the leadership styles of Hitler, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and others. Booklist critic Gilbert Taylor deemed Weinberg "learned, balanced, sophisticated, and clinically empathetic with the consequences of the Nazi lunge for world supremacy." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted: "The author's thought-provoking essays question familiar assumptions."
Weinberg's 2005 book, Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders, examines the views of Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Tojo, Chiang Kai-shek, Stalin, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Weinberg also compares these various leaders' visions of the future and provides a picture of how they saw the postwar world. For example, while Mussolini and Hitler hoped to one day to establish colonies in Africa, Churchill envisioned the reemergence of the British and French empires. Gilbert Taylor wrote in Booklist that Visions of Victory "may be the best one-volume history of World War II." John Gooch commented in the Canadian Journal of History that the author "has provided a highly accessible guide to what those visions were, and one of striking crispness and clarity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Heritage, February-March, 1994, review of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, p. 108.
Booklist, January 15, 1995, Gilbert Taylor, review of Germany, Hitler, and World War II: Essays in Modern German and World History, p. 894; June 1, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders, p. 1746.
Canadian Journal of History, spring-summer, 2006, John Gooch, review of Visions of Victory, p. 211.
Commentary, May, 1994, Williamson Murray, review of A World at Arms, p. 62.
Foreign Affairs, May-June, 1994, Eliot A. Cohen, review of A World at Arms.
Historian, summer, 2007, Mark A. Stoler, review of Visions of Victory, p. 408.
Library Journal, August, 2003, Barbara Walden, review of Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf, p. 101.
Publishers Weekly, January 16, 1995, review of Germany, Hitler, and World War II, p. 449.
Humanities and Social Sciences Online, http://www.h-net.org/reviews/ (May 9, 2008), Nitzan Lebovic, review of Hitler's Second Book.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Development Web site, http://giving.unc.edu/ (May 9, 2008), "The Gerhard L. Weinberg Professorship," brief biography of author.