Robert M. Neer

discusses

Napalm:
An American Biography

This event includes a book signing

Date

Sep
6
Friday
September 6, 2013
3:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome one of Columbia University's Core Lecturer's and author ROBERT M. NEER as he disccuses his latest book, Napalm: An American Biography.

Napalm, incendiary gel that sticks to skin and burns to the bone, came into the world on Valentine’s Day 1942 at a secret Harvard war research laboratory. On March 9, 1945, it created an inferno that killed over 87,500 people in Tokyo—more than died in the atomic explosions at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. It went on to incinerate sixty-four of Japan’s largest cities. The Bomb got the press, but napalm did the work.

After World War II, the incendiary held the line against communism in Greece and Korea—Napalm Day led the 1950 counter-attack from Inchon—and fought elsewhere under many flags. Americans generally applauded, until the Vietnam War. Today, napalm lives on as a pariah: a symbol of American cruelty and the misguided use of power, according to anti-war protesters in the 1960s and popular culture from Apocalypse Now to the punk band Napalm Death and British street artist Banksy. Its use by Serbia in 1994 and by the United States in Iraq in 2003 drew condemnation. United Nations delegates judged deployment against concentrations of civilians a war crime in 1980. After thirty-one years, America joined the global consensus, in 2011.

Robert M. Neer
Robert M. Neer

Robert M. Neer

Robert M. Neer is a Core Lecturer in History at Columbia University. His research examines the intersection of U.S. military power, economic and cultural globalization, and international law in the 20th and 21st centuries. Robert received his U.S. History Ph.D. in 2011, his M.Phil in 2007, and his J.D. and M.A. degrees in 1991, all from Columbia. The History Department awarded him the Helen Lehman Buttenwieser Fellowship. The Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia Law School granted him a Recognition of Achievement with Honors in International and Foreign Law.

Robert is a co-founder, co-editor and frequent contributor to BlueMassGroup.com, the most widely read independent political blog in New England, with about 1.25 million unique annual readers. In 2007, he wrote Barack Obama for Beginners: An Essential Guide, distributed by Random House: the best selling title in the 23-year history of For Beginners books. The publisher released an expanded and revised second edition in 2009.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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