News & Events

UMPI hosts Zillman for “Living the World War” reading

Former University of Maine at Presque Isle President Donald Zillman will bring the week by week experience of living through World War I to life when he delivers a book reading on Monday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m. in the UMPI Campus Center. This event is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served and books will be available for purchase.

Zillman, the Edward Godfrey Professor of Law at the University of Maine Law School and past president of UMPI, spent several years working on Living the World War, a two-volume study of the American experience in World War I. Completed with co-author Elizabeth Elsbach and comprising more than 1,200 pages, the books draw on reporting from the New York Times and daily debates in the U.S. Congress to show how events unfolded from the perspective of those who lived through them.

“In these books, we provide a week by week study of the period from October 1, 1916 to March 5, 1919, examining military combat, diplomatic activity, national legislation, and citizen involvement in the period of the American involvement in the War,” Zillman said. “All material is drawn from daily issues of the New York Times and daily debates in the United States Congress—material available at the time to the interested reader. Our objective is to put the reader in the position of a citizen of a century ago who would not know what was coming next in one of the most fascinating three years in American history.”

In addition to sharing this unique historical perspective, Zillman’s presentation serves as the finale to UMPI’s Constitution Day activities. He will discuss connections between the war and the U.S. Constitution during the reading, as the War had a major impact on the American political system and constitutional law.

Zillman is a prolific writer and editor. His writings include more than 50 articles and 15 books. In 2018 alone, he published Living the World War–Vol. II with Vandeplas Publishing, Innovation in Energy Law and Technology with Oxford University Press (with co-authors Godden, Roggenkamp, and Paddock), and Maine Tort Law with Lexis-Nexis (with Simmons and Furbish).

In his 25 years in Maine, he has served as Dean of the Law School and President of UMPI. He teaches military law, tort law, energy law, and advanced writing. Away from the Law School, he served as President of Portland Rotary Club in 2017-2018. He continues to be an active competitive runner, having just completed his 900th race over the last 40 years.

Copies of Living the World War–Vol. II may be available for sale during the event. For more information about the Sept. 24 reading, contact Gayla Shaw at 768-9452 or email gshaw@maine.edu.