American Studies | Colloquium in American Studies: Introduction to Twentieth-Century U.S. History
G620 | 21918 | McGerr, M

Introduction to Twentieth-Century U.S. History

M 3:35p - 5:30p

Instructor: Michael McGerr

Course meets with HIST-H650 & GEND-G701

This colloquium offers an intensive introduction to the study of the
history of the United States from the close of the nineteenth century
down to the present.   Covering a wide range of topics, the class
focuses particularly on two issues.  First, we will study attempts to
situate the long sweep of national history within the development of
capitalism, globalization, liberalism, and imperialism.  Second, we
will analyze the linkages between private and public—between
individual identity and experience on one hand and politics, popular
culture, and consumption on the other.   By pursuing these issues,
the course helps to prepare students for major and minor field
examinations in U.S. history.

Members of the class are expected to complete the assigned readings,
participate regularly in class discussion, lead one discussion, and
write two short critical papers and one longer historiographical

Among the assigned readings are:
Howard Brick, Transcending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in
Modern American Thought
George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making
of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940
Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of Mass
Consumption in Postwar America
Jeffrey Frieden, Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the
Twentieth Century
Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America
David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in
Depression and War, 1929-1945
Michael McGerr, A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the
Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920
Charles S. Maier, Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its
Peter N. Stearns, Battleground of Desire: The Struggle for Self-
Control in Modern America
Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality
in Postwar Detroit (2005 ed.)
Wendy L. Wall, Inventing the American Way: The Politics of Consensus
from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Movement
Sean Wilentz, The Age of Reagan