UM History Lecture to Examine ‘Warfare State’

October 02, 2014

MISSOULA – Author and University of Chicago Professor James T. Sparrow will deliver the 2014 University of Montana Arnold Swanberg Lecture in Military History at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre. 

Sparrow’s lecture will focus on his first book, “Warfare State: WWII and the Militarization of American Citizenship,” which details the social politics of the national state as its foundations shifted from welfare to warfare during World War II.

Sparrow is now working on a second book titled “The New Leviathan: Sovereign America and the Foundations of Rule in the Atomic Age.” 

“Professor Sparrow is a leader among a rising generation of scholars who are reconsidering the rise of the modern American state in the 20th Century,” said UM History Associate Professor Kyle G. Volk. “By locating the most fundamental roots of the modern state not in FDR’s New Deal but in America’s involvement in World War II, Sparrow forces us to reconsider how and why ‘big government’ became a defining feature of American life.”   

The Arnold Swanberg Lecture in Military History is an annual lecture presented by the UM Department of History. Swanberg earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UM in 1970 and is the former publisher of Flightline Magazine, a publication devoted to North American military aviation after 1945. Now a Seattle resident, Swanberg worked with the UM history department to create the annual lecture in the hopes that it will stimulate public interest in military history and an appreciation for its significance. 

For more information email Volk at


Contact: Kyle Volk, UM history associate professor, 406-243-2989,