'Gilded Age' program series at Macomb Community College's Lorenzo Cultural Center explores World War I

– Tuesday, April 2, 2013 1:00AM

From the famous slogan “Uncle Sam Wants You” to the hope it was “the war to end all wars,” World War I was a war without precedent, from the number of nations taking up arms, the scope of the battlefield to the grisliness of the fighting. The Gilded Age to the Great War: America at the Turn of the Century, the latest program series at the Lorenzo Cultural Center, features several presentations that examine various aspects of the “Great War.”

On April 11 at 11 a.m., Roger Rosentreter, professor of history at Michigan State University and former editor of Michigan History Magazine, tells how a specialized contingent from Michigan, who weeks after the war’s end, found themselves fighting for survival as they fought against the Bolsheviks and the frigid conditions of northern Russia in Stranded in Russia: The Michigan Polar Bear Experience.

On April 18 at 1 p.m., Elton Weintz, professor of history at Macomb, presents Real to Reel: All Quiet on the Western Front, the 1930 film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel that follows a group of German schoolboys who enlist at the beginning of World War I and have their ideas of “right” and “wrong” turned upside down.

On April 20 at 1 p.m., Elliott Meyrowitz, professor of history at Macomb, discusses the effects mechanized production and technological advancements in transportation and weaponry had in a world war, and the military strategy of targeting civilians adopted by the Central Powers in World War I and the Emergence of Total War.

On May 4 at 1 p.m., Christopher Capozzola, professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of the book, Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen, offers an overview of the American homefront during WWI, highlighting the role of volunteerism in the war effort with particular focus on Michigan.

The Gilded Age program series also offers free exhibits, including an overview of the Gilded Age through artifacts and displays;  stories, images, artifacts and interactive elements in Petticoat Patriots: How Michigan Women Won the Vote and  black-and-white photographs and interview excerpts in So I Come to America: Detroit Pre-World War I Immigrants.

Preregistration is required for all presentations by calling 586.445.7348 or going online to www.lorenzoculturalcenter.com.  No registration is needed to visit the exhibits.  The Lorenzo Cultural Center is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.

About the Lorenzo Cultural Center

The Lorenzo Cultural Center (www.LorenzoCulturalCenter.com) explores the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage, examining topics from a variety of perspectives and creating interactive opportunities for learning, celebration and entertainment.  Located on Macomb Community College's Center Campus, Hall and Garfield roads in Clinton Township, the cultural center is adjacent to the Macomb Center for Performing Arts.

Media Contact: Tish Wirth, 586.445.7560, wirthp@macomb.edu

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