From the Civil Rights Era to the New Gilded Age: Struggles for Racial Equality and Economic Equity from “Double Victory” to “Occupy”

History C139D

Spring 2016
180 TAN
Day & Time: 
TuTh 930-1100

World War II lifted the United States from the Great Depression, launching the nation on a course of economic expansion that would endure for a quarter century afterwards. This long economic boom, in turn, helped underwrite and propel efforts on behalf of greater racial equality and economic equity. By the late 1960s, however, as the long economic boom fizzled out, America’s march toward greater racial equality began to founder, while its march toward greater economic equity began to reverse course. The Civil Rights Era gave way to the New Gilded Age, a period marked by an increasing concentration of income and wealth in the hands of a decreasing percentage of the overall population. This course will explore the political, legal, and economic history of America’s struggles for racial equality and economic equity – and the relationship between them – from the World War II-inspired “Double Victory” campaign roots of the Civil Rights Era to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests of 2011 that finally brought national attention to the growing income and wealth polarization that defined the then decades-old New Gilded Age.

Course Books

To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Moreton, Bethany Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674057401 Required
Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace by MacLean, Nancy Russell Sage. ISBN: 978-0674027497 Required
The Color of America Has Changed: How Racial Diversity Shaped Civil Rights Reform in California, 1941-1978 by Brilliant, Mark Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199927593 Required
Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class by Cowie, Jefferson New Press. ISBN: 978-1595587077 Required
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to Rise of Black Power by McGuire, Danielle Vintage. ISBN: 978-0307389244 Required
When Affirmative Action Was White by Katznelson, Ira Norton. ISBN: 978-0393328516 Required