History | World War II: The Peoples
W325 | 27495 | Madison
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only
Millions of people all over the world participated in World War II.
This course will study their changing and challenging lives as
soldiers, mothers, factory workers, propagandists, political
leaders, and survivors. To understand how the war altered people’s
lives and the society in which they lived we will look at war-time
films, written documents, and propaganda posters and also at later
writings, images, and monuments. We will focus on life on the home
front, on social and cultural issues, as much or more than on
military or diplomatic issues. We will certainly study the American
people, but this is a world history course, so we will also pay
large attention to the Japanese, Russian, German, French, British
and other peoples whose lives were so drastically affected by the
largest and most brutal war in human history.
We hope in the end to have an understanding of how America’s war-
time experiences compared with those of other peoples and of the
many ways in which World War II changed ordinary people, nations,
and the world, even down to our own time.
Assignments will require students to read a general introduction to
the war and specialized readings, study web sites, and view films.
There will be in-class and out-of-class writing. There is no