America in the Cold War

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America in the Cold War
Humanities Course
Course CodeCWAR
Years Of Operation2000-2001
Sites OfferedBRI, BTH, SCZ
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2000):

The mere mention of the Cold War conjures up images of the "evil empire," the Berlin Wall, and mutual nuclear destruction. To focus solely on the diplomatic and military aspects of the time, however, would be to overlook the impact the Cold War had on the political, cultural, social, and intellectual issues of the time. Using the Cold War as a backdrop, this course examines the issues that confronted America from the end of World War II through the Vietnam War.

This class introduces students to a range of materials and historical methodologies. Students explore the Red Scare of the 1950s, for example, as both the source of governmental witch hunts and the inspiration for works such as Arthur Millers The Crucible and the sci-fi film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The creation of the federal highway system is studied as both a tool to aid military readiness and a societal instrument contributing to the demise of the city. The course also covers the many cultural and political figures of the era, examining how the Cold War affected the lives and careers of people ranging from Paul Robeson to Elvis Presley to Betty Friedan to the Hollywood Ten.

Through a variety of critical reading and writing assignments, as well as individual and group research projects, students consider how different approaches to the study of the Cold War enhance both their understanding of the recent past and the study of history in general.