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Professor Thomas Childers, Ph.D.

Professor Thomas Childers
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Harvard University
Facts don’t change, but we do, and our perspective on them changes. We learn new things, and as a result of this, it is necessary to reevaluate ... what we have known and how it looks different to us at this particular point.

Dr. Thomas Childers is Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been teaching for over 25 years. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University.

Professor Childers has held visiting professorships at Trinity Hall College, Cambridge, Smith College, and Swarthmore College. He is a popular lecturer abroad as well, in London, Oxford, Berlin, and Munich.

Professor Childers has won several teaching awards, including the Ira T. Abrahms Award for Distinguished Teaching and Challenging Teaching in the Arts and Sciences, the Richard S. Dunn Award for Distinguished Teaching in History, and the Senior Class Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Professor Childers is the author and editor of several books on modern German history and the Second World War. He is currently completing a trilogy on the Second World War. The first volume, Wings of Morning: The Story of the Last American Bomber Shot Down over Germany in World War II, was praised by Jonathan Yardley in The Washington Post as “a powerful and unselfconsciously beautiful book.”


"In 20 years of education I never had a professor like Tom Childers. If there were a Nobel prize for teaching, he would get it. I have found all his courses really exceptional."



"If I had had Professor Childers when I was in college, maybe I'd have been a history major instead of a pre-med.  He knows his subject so perfectly, its as if he's telling you a story and it's fascinating."



"Professor Childers is a brilliant and fascinating lecturer.  His courses are so interesting if they were in a book I could not put it down."

4 Courses

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4 Courses

  1. History of Hitler's Empire, 2nd Edition

    History of Hitler's Empire, 2nd Edition

    Thomas Childers, Ph.D.
    Starting at $89.95 Starting at $89.95 $199.95 $89.95$199.95
    This course, graphic at times, helps you solve the puzzle of Hitler's rise to power in a highly-educated, industrially developed country. Professor Childers meticulously investigates the roots of Nazi support, bringing you back to the disastrous Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I and taking you through the horrifying details of Hitler's ideology and the holocaust.
  2. World War II: A Military and Social History Sale

    World War II: A Military and Social History

    Thomas Childers, Ph.D.
    Save up to $275.00 Starting at $49.95 $99.95 $49.95$99.95
    This course examines one of the greatest conflicts in human history, World War II. Between 1937 and 1945, 55 million people perished. It was a series of interrelated conflicts; no continent was left untouched, no ocean or sea unaffected. World War II taught lessons that none of us can ever study enough. Professor Thomas Childers uses the dual perspective of military and social history to explain both the epic course...
  3. Europe and Western Civilization in the Modern Age

    Europe and Western Civilization in the Modern Age

    Thomas Childers, Ph.D.
    Starting at $249.95 Starting at $249.95 $519.95 $249.95$519.95
    Do you want to improve your understanding of where we are today, how we got here, why the 20th century unfolded as it did, and even what the next millennium might hold? This perceptive, richly documented course covers the history and global impact of Europe since the French Revolution.
  4. 36 Revolutionary Figures of History Collection

    36 Revolutionary Figures of History

    Thomas Childers, Ph.D.
    Starting at $199.95 Starting at $199.95 $269.95 $199.95$269.95
    Alexander the Great. Jesus. Darwin. Churchill. These are just a few of the revolutionary individuals who have transformed our world in ways that still resonate today. 36 Revolutionary Figures of History is a unique collection of 36 lectures from our extensive course catalog—one that takes you across time and around the globe to offer piercing insights into some of history’s most transformative figures.