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Book Signing and Presentation by Bill Christie to Mark Veteran's Day at Catawba College

October 21, 2016

Category: Events


christiebooksigning.jpgCatawba College will mark Veteran's Day on November 11th with a presentation and a book signing of a new book by Dr. Bill Christie, "1941: The Year America Went to War."  The Corriher-Linn-Black Library on Catawba's campus will be the setting for the event slated to begin at 4 p.m. and conclude with light refreshments. Copies of Christie's book will be available for purchase thanks to the Catawba College Bookstore.

While contemplating his book, Christie noticed that there was a significant gap that appeared in the literature on the pre-war period.  He realized there was "no general treatment describing the country itself as it existed on the eve of the Japanese attack."

As he began his research, he discovered the America that existed in 1941 was "one in which only one adult in seven had completed high school, where scarcely one person in four lived within a day's travel of a major cultural center."  His research also revealed that while citizens recognized the need for a strong military, "they were so averse to militarism that Army officers in Washington wore civilian clothes to work."

billchristie.jpgSo Christie set about painting a word portrait of the America that went to war in December 1941.  He organized his book into 12 chapters, each addressing a broad country-encompassing topic such as politics, entertainment, social change, The Great Debate, sports, and more.  These chapters culminated with the final chapter entitled, "The End of Peace."

A native of Maryland, whose family has lived there for 13 generations, Christie spent 35 years in academe as a professor, dean, provost, and college president.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington and Lee University and his Ph.D. from Yale.

His interest in 20th Century American history is long standing, and since his retirement, he has shifted his academic research from language history to social history.  He divides his time between Salisbury and Brevard, North Carolina, where he is active in church, community, and civic affairs.  In his spare time, he builds traditional furniture, concentrating on the Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Federal styles.  He also maintains an interest in tea production and cultivation, and he grows his own tea plants in Brevard.

Married to Dr. Renee McCachren, a professor of music at Catawba, Christie has two sons: Will, who lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with his wife and two daughters; and Sam, who lives in Raleigh with his wife and their daughter and son.

Join friends and colleagues at 4 p.m. on Veteran's Day, November 11, at the Corriher-Linn-Black Library on Catawba's campus as we remember America as it was in 1941, and prepare to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The event is free and open to the general public.