History | World War II: The Peoples
W325 | 2808 | Madison
Above section open to undergraduates only
Millions of people all over the world participated in World War II.
This course will study their lives as factory workers,
propagandists, soldiers, mothers, political leaders, and survivors.
To understand how the war changed their lives and the society in
which people lived we will look at war-time films, written
documents, and propaganda posters and 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 will also
pay large attention to the Japanese, Russian, German, French,
British and other peoples whose lives were so drastically affected
by the largest war in human history.
We hope in the end to have a sense of how American war-time
experiences compared with those of other peoples and of ways in
which World War II changed ordinary people, nations, and the world
of the late twentieth century.
Students will read a general book on the war and several specialized
readings, study several web sites, and view several films. There
will be in-class and out-of-class writing. There is no prerequisite.