History | The Sixties
A382 | 28025 | McGerr


A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s ony

An intensive examination of the decade that tore apart post-World
War II American society.  The course begins with the confident
liberalism that believed the nation could “pay any price” and “bear
any burden” in order to stop communism abroad and to promote reform
at home.  We then focus on the challenges that destroyed this
liberal agenda: civil rights and black power, the New Left, the
counter culture, second-wave feminism, the sexual revolution, the
Vietnam War, de-industrialization, and the globalization of the
economy.  The course finishes with the examination of the more
conservative order that emerged in the early 1970s to deal with the
conflicting realities of limited national power and wealth, on the
one hand, and rising demands for rights and opportunity, on the
other.

In exploring this tumultuous period of American history, students
will develop their critical analytical skills by closely examining
different kinds of historical evidence and their expression of ideas
by writing short papers, quizzes, and exams.  Assignments, which
average 65 pages a week, include a variety of on-line primary
sources, a textbook (Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, "America
Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s"), and two films ("The Graduate"
and "Dirty Harry").   Each student will write two brief papers (1 to
2 pages), in-classes quizzes and essays, a mid-term and a final
exam.  .

There are no prerequisites for this course, which is open to
undergraduates from freshmen to seniors.