Program Details

Guided Discussion: Four Great American Strategic Decisions of World War II

Edward Shapiro

Course Description

This discussion group will analyze four of the most consequential American strategic decisions of World War II.  Participants will examine and evaluate the political and military factors influencing these decisions and the role played by such key political and military leaders as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Adm. Ernest King, Gen. George C. Marshall, Gen. Alan Brooke, Adm. Chester Nimitz, Gen. Arthur Harris, and Gen. Hap Arnold.  A list of suggested readings will be handed out prior to each meeting. Space is limited.


  1. The Battle Over Isolationism
  2. Europe Versus the Pacific
  3. The Cross-Channel and its Critics
  4. The Strategic Bombing of Germany

About the Instructor

  • Edward Shapiro, Ph.D., earned his doctoral degree in history from Harvard University and taught American history at Seton Hall University for three decades.  His books include “A Time for Healing: American Jews Since World War II" (1992); “We Are Many: Reflections on American Jewish History and Identity" (2005), “Crown Heights: Blacks, Jews, and the Brooklyn Riot of 1991" (2006), and "A Unique People in a Unique Land: Essays in American Jewish History" (2022). Shapiro has received awards and grants from the American Philosophical Society, the Oxford Center for Jewish Studies, and the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation and has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel.