Interview conducted Brittany Parziale, Connections Intern
Dr. Jeffrey Meriwether is Assistant Dean for Operations, FCAS, and a Professor in the Department of History and American Studies. He has been at RWU since 2001.
Professor Meriwether is currently reading Settle and Conquer: Militarism on the American Frontier, 1607-1890 by Matthew J Flynn. This book examines the history of westward expansion that occurred in America and suggests that the destruction of Native American cultures that took place at that time was in part a “campaign of counterinsurgency.” Professor Meriwether especially appreciates how this book “successfully takes a current foreign affairs topic and relates it to America’s national history.”
R.F Delderfield’s To Serve Them All My Days, is the story of a Welshman from a poor mining village who fights in World War I and later becomes an educator. Professor Meriwether cites being taken by many of the works of historical fiction written by Delderfield.
During his childhood, Professor Meriwether read Audie Murphy’s To Hell and Back, the story of Murphy’s World War II experience as the most decorated American soldier in that war. “My dad was a World War II veteran. We watched this film together when I was young, leading me to read the book multiple times. I’ve recently passed the book down to my son to read.”
Isabel V. Hull’s Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany is a book that “takes on the military cultures and practices of war in imperial Germany.” Finding time for pleasure reading can be quite difficult for Professor Meriwether. Still, he says he would love to “just sit in a dark room with a cup of coffee and read this book.”
“I don’t believe I could name an essential read as my focus is so narrow and is based on my academic research and studies.”