History | Introduction to Modern U.S. History
H650 | 16987 | McGerr


A portion of the above section reserved for majors

This colloquium offers an intensive introduction to recent
literature and current debates across the range of modern United
States history.   Topics include the nature of progressivism,
liberalism, and conservatism, race, gender and sexuality,
consumerism, material culture, and religion, labor and capital,
technology and environmentalism, and the cold war and
globalization.  Each member of the class will read a book a week,
participate regularly in discussion, write two five-page critical
papers on assigned readings, and then produce a twelve-page
historiographical essay on a topic of his or her choice.  Class
participation comprises 40% of the final grade; each five-page
paper, 15%; and the historiographical essay, 30%.

The assigned readings are:

Alan Brinkley, "The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession
and War" (Knopf, 1996)

George Chauncey, "Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the
Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940" (Basic, 1995)

Ron Chernow, "Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr."
(Knopf, 2004)

Lizabeth Cohen, "A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of
Consumption in Postwar America"  (Knopf, 2003)

Paul N. Edwards, "The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of
Discourse in Cold War America" (MIT Press, 1997)

Richard Wightman Fox, "Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural
Hero, National Obsession" (Harper Collins, 2005)

John Lewis Gaddis, "The Cold War: A New History" (Penguin, 2005)

Victoria de Grazia, "Irresistible Empire:  America’s Advance Through
Twentieth-Century Europe" (Harvard University Press, 2005)

Thomas A. Guglielmo, "White on Arrival: Indians, Race, Color, and
Power in Chicago, 1890-1945" (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Alice Kessler Harris, "In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the
Quest for Economic Citizenship in the Twentieth Century" (Oxford
University Press, 2003)

Michael McGerr, "A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the
Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920" (Oxford University
Press, 2005)

James T. Patterson, "Restless Giant: The United States from
Watergate to Bush vs. Gore" (Oxford UP, 2005)

Adam Rome, "The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and
the Rise of American Environmentalism" (Cambridge UP, 2001)

Thomas J. Sugrue, "Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality
in Postwar Detroit" (Princeton University Press; 2005 ed.)

For the first class meeting, each student should choose and skim a
textbook on the twentieth-century United States or the relevant
chapters of a U.S. history
survey textbook.