About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World

October 30, 2020

Greetings from the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and it's my pleasure to welcome you to this virtual book talk with Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster about his new book Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.

Before we hear from General McMaster, I want to tell you about two online programs we will be presenting in commemoration of Veterans Day.

On Tuesday, November 10th at 3 p.m., David Winkler, who is the current Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Charles Lindbergh Fellow in Aerospace History, will discuss his recent book, Tribute to a Nation: Hadyn Williams and the Building of the World War II Memorial.

Then on Thursday, November 12, at 5 p.m., we will present a special screening of the 1944 short documentary Memphis Belle: The Story of a Flying Fortress, created by the U.S. Army Air Forces under the direction of William Wyler. The footage of this version of the film was restored for the 75th-anniversary of the bomber’s 25th mission. Following the screening, Daniel Rooney, Supervisory Archivist in the National Archives Special Media Archives Services Division, will moderate a discussion with Catherine Wyler (daughter of William Wyler) and filmmaker Erik Nelson, who created the documentary The Cold Blue using outtakes and footage from the Memphis Belle’s production and restored in partnership with the National Archives.

You can view both of these programs on the National Archives YouTube channel. 


H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1984, served as an Army officer for 34 years, and retired as a lieutenant general in 2018. He remained on active duty while serving as National Security Advisor in 2017–2018. McMaster taught history at West Point and holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Joining General McMaster in conversation is Nicholas Coddington, the supervisor of the National Archives’ Education and Public Programs. He is a published author with a research focus in education at museums, libraries, historic sites, and archives. Before turning to teaching, Nick served for over 20 years as a cavalry and intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, leading humanitarian operations in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and South-East Asia. Coddington graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds master’s degrees in engineering, strategic intelligence, philosophy, and education. His Ph.D. in social studies education from Columbia University in the City of New York focused on teacher education.

Now let’s hear from General McMaster and Nick Coddington. Thank you for joining us today.