The American Experience
1950 – 2000
The course is designed to offer an overview of the defining events of American history during the second half of the 20th Century, with a focus on the watershed years of the 1960’s. The following themes are emphasized:
2. the civil rights movement
3. the war in Vietnam
4. Woodstock Nation: emergence of a counterculture
The course requires a willingness to stay current with reading assignments. During the semester, you will read much of the text, A History of the United States Since 1945. Readings from the text must be done on your own time, as classtime will be devoted to discussion, analytic exercises, lecture, and reading primary-source documents. American culture and its transformation are a major aspect of the course, and so, the films, TV clips, and music which we will use are an integral part of the course.
Many of the themes and topics of the course
remain controversial today. The scope of the class is the scope of
your parents’ lifetimes. In many cases, they will retain strong emotional
connections with our topics. You are encouraged to ask them about
their recollections, and experience, of the topics.