Global America: The Cold War at Home and Abroad

History 103D.004

Spring 2006
Instructor (text): 
Day & Time: 
M 2-4

";V was for Victory,"; but immediately after 1945, the United States found itself immersed in another global conflict. Antagonisms between the Soviet Union and the US intensified into a standoff that, for the next two decades, repeatedly threatened armed or nuclear conflict. The situation at home was equally turbulent. By the 20th anniversary of V-J Day, America had seen transformative economic, social, and political change.

Focusing on the period from 1945 to 1965, this seminar examines various facets of America?s Cold War experience from both foreign and domestic perspectives. Topics to be considered in context with anti-communist activity overseas include: the federal state, immigration, civil rights, cultural expression, liberalism, science and technology, the military-industrial complex, globalization, and diplomacy. Rather than divorcing these histories, we will address their points of convergence and use them to complicate our understandings of the ";postwar"; era.

Course requirements include active participation, two short papers (5-6 pp.), and a longer final paper (8-10 pp.). Our readings will be drawn from a range of scholarly texts, including Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The Vital Center; Michael Hogan, A Cross of Iron; and Mary Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights. We will also be discussing primary sources such as memoir excerpts, journalistic essays, Graham Greeneâ€_Äôs novel The Quiet American, and the 1962 film â€_ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate.â€_ÄÃ_