University of Lynchburg history professor Dr. Brian Crim got a pleasant surprise when Smithsonian Magazine published a list of favorite books for 2018: one of his recent titles was on the list.
The November 20 Smithsonian article books selected by Smithsonian Institute scholars. Our Germans: Project Paperclip and the National Security State was chosen by Roger Launius, a prominent space historian and a former curator for the National Air and Space Museum.
Dr. Crim’s book, published at the end of 2017, tells the story of a post-WWII program that brought more than 1,500 Nazi scientists to the U.S. The program sparked controversy because the scientists had supported the Nazi regime.
“I thought I knew a lot about Project Paperclip and the importation of Nazi scientists and engineers to the U.S. at the end of World War II,” Launius wrote, noting that the program expanded the country’s rocket capabilities. “But Brian Crim’s book expands knowledge quite a lot.”
Dr. Crim began working on Our Germans in 2011 after millions of documents relating to World War II were declassified. He used the paper trail to tell the story of the scientists who came to the U.S. amid controversy.
Dr. Crim said the inclusion of Our Germans on the list was unexpected but welcome. “This review resulted in a major spike in book sales,” he said.