John W. Langdon


Reilly Hall 408
Le Moyne College
1419 Salt Springs Road
Syracuse, NY 13214


(315) 445-4475


Professor of History; Modern France, Modern Germany, 20th Century Global

Growing up in the early days of the Cold War, it was nearly impossible to be indifferent to history, and I was fascinated by it from the age of 9. I received a B.A. with Honors in History from Le Moyne College in 1967 and a Ph.D. in History from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1973. At the latter institution I was a National Defense Fellow. After being drafted into the army in 1968, I served six years in the U.S. Army Reserve, being honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant First Class.

Since 1971 I have taught modern history at Le Moyne College and briefly as a visiting professor at Syracuse University. I was Teacher of the Year at Le Moyne College in 1989, was Scholar of the Year in 2019, and was named the College’s first O’Connell Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities in 1996. In 2011 I received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Central New York Council for the Social Studies, and the Loyola Award for forty years' service to Le Moyne College. In 2012 I was named Distinguished Social Studies Educator of the Year by the New York State Council for the Social Studies. I received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Le Moyne College in 2017, as well as the Ignatian Award for Service to Le Moyne.

I served as Chair of the Department of History for seven years, Director of the Honors Program for two years, Chair of the Committee on Rank and Tenure for three years, President of the Association of Teaching Faculty for two years, and Director of Le Moyne College Elderhostel for eight years. From 2009-11 I was co-chair of the Provost's Task Force on Revision of the Core Curriculum. I am a Past President of the New York State Association of European Historians (1997) and a Fellow of the U. S. State Department’s Scholar/Diplomat Program (1981). From 2014-2017 I was a member of the Content Advisory Panel of the New York State Education Department, advising the Department on the revision of the New York State Regents Examination in World History.

My publications include, as sole author, July 1914: The Long Debate, 1918-1990 (1991); four books as co-author with Edward H. Judge as follows: The Struggle Against Imperialism: Anti-Colonialism and the Cold War (2018); The Cold War Through Documents: A Global History (third edition, 2018); A Hard and Bitter Peace: A Global History of the Cold War (third edition, 2017); and Connections: A World History (third edition, 2015); and one book as co-author with Barnett Singer, Cultured Force: Builders and Defenders of France’s Colonial Empire (2004). My future scholarly agenda includes, as sole author, 1963: Year of Promise, Year of Tragedy.

I am a life member of the Society for French Historical Studies, a founding member of the Conference Group for the Study of Religion in World History, and a member of the World History Association. I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Central New York Council for the Social Studies and have served on its Joint Committee on Professional Development since 1985.

My wife and I have two married daughters: Lisa Koch, assistant professor of international relations at Claremont McKenna College, and Heather Lazarow, an oncological nutritionist at the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. We have five grandchildren.


  • World Civilizations I & II
  • The Outbreak of World War I
  • Hitler’s Germany
  • The Cold War, 1945-1964 and 1964-1991

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

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