The French and Indian War began in the backwoods of Western Pennsylvania when young George Washington’s British troops and American Indian allies fired on French marines who sallied forth from Fort Duquesne at the “Forks of the Ohio,” where Pittsburgh stands today.
German historian and publisher Dietmar Kuegler will discuss the war that claimed a million lives and set the stage for the American Revolution as part of an in-person lecture on Friday, June 17, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Heinz History Center’s Detre Library & Archives.
His latest book, “The World on Fire,” chronicles the conflict that Winston Churchill famously referred to as “the first First World War.”
For the past four decades, Kuegler has made American history his primary field of study. His deep knowledge of the westward movement and the resistance of American Indians collect in his books and the pages of Germany’s most popular magazine of American History, Verlag fur Amerikanistik. He has traveled extensively in the U.S., visiting battlefields and historical sites from coast to coast. Kuegler’s fascination with the American experience has led him to further his research with hands-on participation in “living history” recreations.
His lecture will touch on these personal experiences and how he and other Europeans have come to view the history of the U.S. and its diverse peoples.
A book signing will follow the lecture.
The event is free for History Center members and included with regular museum admission. You can purchase museum tickets in advance for Friday, June 17.
A book signing will follow the discussion.
Born in 1951, Dietmar Kuegler is a German journalist, historian, publisher, and author. At about 12 years of age, he fell in love with American pioneer history when reading books by the popular German writer Karl May. Watching American TV series like “Laramie,” “Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” and “The Rifleman” convinced him he had to study the American Westward Expansion.
He became a reporter for a German newspaper but worked hard to become an independent author. When he was 17, he wrote his first Western novel. At 21, he was hired as an editor and created the two biggest Western series in Germany, which sold about 100,000 copies weekly for several years.
At 24, his first nonfiction book on American gunfighters was published (“They Died With Their Boots On”). More books on law and order in the American West, Germans in America, the U. S. Cavalry, and the Texas Rangers followed. Altogether, he has written about 70 nonfiction books and over 2,000 essays on various topics from American history. His publications appeared in some major German publishing houses, in France, and the Austrian military magazine Pallasch. He has also written articles in Western Pennsylvania History and The Journal of the Wild West History Association.
In 1982, he established his own publishing company that specialized in American history and commissioned over 250 books and a quarterly magazine, which is now the oldest existing magazine on American history in Europe.
Kuegler also lectures regularly at universities, museums, and academies on these subjects. He has a YouTube channel where he has lectured on subjects such as “The Oregon Trail” and “The Homesteaders.” The most successful of these presentations is his lecture on the French & Indian War, with more than 7,000 onlookers.
His latest publication is a biography of one of the last Blackfeet war chiefs, Wades-In-The-Water, which he wrote bilingually (German and English) together with his American wife, Karen Rogowski, a professor of biology from New York.