World War II In Poland And The Pacific Theater

Friday September 18, 2015 4:00 pm

A talk about two new books from associates of the MIT Kavli Institute.

The Boy from Lwow by Norma Olbert

A biography of MIT’s Prof. Stan Olbert by his wife covers his youth in Poland during the German and Russian occupations and during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 in which he fought. Stan was a charter member of Bruno Rossi’s interplanetary plasma group at MIT until his retirement in 1988. The book follows Stan up to the point where he arrived in the USA in 1949 to attend graduate school at MIT. “A lean, engaging account” [Kirkus Review]. See

Wilber’s War: An American Family’s Journey through World War II (a trilogy) by Hale Bradt

A father’s Odyssey; a mother’s strength; a son’s story. This is the story of an academic and national guardsman–the author’s father–who went through the Pacific War as an artillery officer and who wrote in vivid detail about his experiences in 700+ extant letters. It is also the story of his family on the home front. Hale, a retired MIT physics professor and x-ray astronomer, recreated the story with the aid of his father’s edited letters, visits to the South Pacific, and archival searches. “Deftly crafted . . . very highly recommended.” [Midwest Book Review]. See; for purchasing print version, use discount code MITWW.

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Debbie Meinbresse