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Dr. Julia Torrie receives a McCain Award

Dr. Julia Torrie has been awarded one of the two McCain Awards to help her complete her book entitled “Living Like God in France: The German Forces of Occupation, 1940-44.”

“Living like God in France” tells the story of the German occupation of France from the occupiers’ perspective. Unlike their comrades on the miserable Eastern Front, German soldiers in France spent most of their time simply holding terrain, building defensive structures, and policing the local citizenry. France offered many opportunities for leisure and pleasure, yet soldiers’ duty was never far below the surface. Living like God in France explores German soldiers’ contradictory experiences as occupiers, caught between duty and pleasure, violence, tourism and consumption. The book argues that “managing” occupiers is, in many ways, as complex and significant a task as managing the occupied country. The interplay between top-down initiatives and the experiences and perceptions of ordinary soldiers is crucial to understanding how occupations work.