A Self-Paced Course

The years 1914 to 1945 created the America we know. They established the United States as a world political and economic power, if a sometimes ambivalent one. They also shaped the social and economic patterns that characterized the country for decades afterward, sometimes in surprising and unanticipated ways.

Join Gilder Lehrman and professor Michael Neiberg in examining the role of the two world wars in shaping modern American history, and studying scholarly interpretations of what the years 1914 to 1945 meant both for America's role in the world and for the changes to life inside the United States.

In this video, meet course professor Michael Neiberg:


Course Content

This course consists of two types of sessions:

  • Six seminar sessions led by Professor Neiberg
  • Four pedagogy sessions with a Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher
  • Primary source readings to supplement Professor Neiberg's lectures
  • A certificate of completion for 15 hours of professional development credit


  • The optional readings for each seminar session are listed on the “Resources” tab on the course page.
  • Please note: Participants are not required to read or purchase any print materials. Quizzes are based on the content of the seminar recordings rather than the readings.



Course Access

  • After your purchase, you may access your course by signing in and visiting the Community tab at the top of the Gilder Lehrman Institute homepage. 


  • If you have additional questions about The World at War or the Gilder Lehrman self-paced course program, please visit our FAQ page or click here to contact us.

Lead Scholar

Michael S. Neiberg

Professor Michael S. Neiberg is the Henry L. Stimson Chair of History in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College. His published work specializes in the First and Second World Wars, notably the American and French experiences. His 2011 book, Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I, was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of five best books ever written about the war.  Other works include The Blood of Free Men, a history of the liberation of Paris in 1944, and most recently, Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe.