History | World War II: The People
W325 | 16916 | Madison
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA's only
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
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, propaganda posters and postwar 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 seek to understand 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
Most reading assignments will be primary sources. Requirements
include regular class attendance, book quizzes, and three essay
exams (in-class and take home). There is no prerequisite.