Clements Center
Clements Center
Home Front to Battlefront

Home Front to Battlefront

Frank Lavin | Former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade; CEO and founder, Export Now
Wednesday, Oct 03, 2018   |   12:15 - 1:45 pm   |  SRH 3.122

On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, the Clements Center welcomed Frank Lavin, the CEO and founder of Export Now and former Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce, for a talk on his World War II history book, Home Front to Battlefront. 

Missed the talk? Listen here

World War II touched more lives than any single event in human history and it continues to shape the world of today. By looking at the journey of the GIs from that era, we can better understand the America of the 1940s and our journey of the past 70 years. Carl Lavin was a high school senior when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The Ohio native enlisted when he turned eighteen, a decision that would take him from Army training across the US and Britain to combat with the 84th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge. Home Front to Battlefront is the tale of a foot soldier who finds himself thrust into a world where he and his unit grapple with the horrors of combat, the idiocies of bureaucracy, and the oddities of life back home—all in the same day. The book is based on Carl’s personal letters, his recollections, and those of the people he served beside, official military history, private papers, and more.

Home Front to Battlefront contributes the rich details of one soldier’s experience to the broader literature on World War II. Lavin’s adventures, in turn disarming and sobering, will appeal to general readers, veterans, educators, and students of the war. As a history, the book offers insight into a wartime career in the military, from enlistment to training through overseas deployment. As a biography, it reflects the emotions and the role of the individual in a total war effort that is all too often thought of as a machine war in which human soldiers were merely interchangeable cogs. More at

Frank Lavin is the author of Home Front to Battlefront. Having served as a White House aide, trade negotiator, ambassador, and banker, Frank Lavin currently works in business in China. An avid historian and writer, he has written or contributed to eight books and has a monthly column at He is the son of Carl Lavin.

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