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The dropping of the first atomic bomb at the end of World War II ushered in a new era in American history. Beginning with its earliest stages of planning, nuclear warfare shaped the course of American foreign and domestic policy. This class explores the Cold War, the rise of the military-industrial complex, the baby boom and economic abundance, social movements on the left and right, and politics from Roosevelt to Reagan. In each postwar decade, the threat of nuclear war profoundly shaped American politics, economy, and society.

Format, Grading and Assignments

The requirements for this class consist of two five-page papers based on the readings (25% each), document collections (10%), class participation (15%), and a final exam (25%). The readings will come from the following books:

Required Texts

Boyer, Paul S. Promises to Keep: The US Since World War II. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

Baker, Paula, and Robert Griffith eds. Major Problems in American History Since 1945. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

Schrecker, Ellen. The Age of McCarthyism. 2nd ed. Bedford: St. Martin's, 2001.

Schulman, Bruce J. Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism: A Brief Biography With Documents. Bedford: St. Martin's, 1995.

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