Triumph and Tragedy: The Sixties in the United States

History 103D.003

Fall 2007
Instructor (text): 
201 Giannini
Day & Time: 
Wed 4-6

Some depict and remember the 1960s as a decade of tumultuous change, when revolution was in the air and poetry was in the streets. Assessments that grapple with more than one event, person, or movement tend to depart from this impression, focusing instead on the continuities that the sixties shared with what came before and what followed after. This seminar will feature readings that could be enlisted to support (or contradict) both of these generalities, and we will look all the while to formulate more trenchant historical questions. We will address a broad array of topics, including the US intervention in Vietnam, social movements (civil rights, student protest, conservatives), sex, presidents, and Muhammad Ali. Our approach will enrich and contextualize our understanding of the 1960s, and students with an interest in writing a thesis based somewhere or somehow on the decade are especially encouraged to enroll.