American Studies 185b Fall 2014 The Culture of the Cold War Mr. Whitfield

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American Studies 185b Fall 2014

The Culture of the Cold War Mr. Whitfield

Block D M W Th 11-11:50

This seminar addresses American political culture from the end of the Second World War until the revival of liberal thought and radical criticism in the 1960s. Attention will be paid to the specter of totalitarianism, the "end of ideology," the crisis of civil liberties and the strains on the pluralistic consensus under the impact of anti-Communism.

1) Aug. 28 M Introduction

No assignment

2) Sept. 3 W "I will show you fear in a handful of dust"

T. S. Eliot, The WasteLand

Lecture on the atomic bomb

Read: John Hersey, Hiroshima

3) Sept. 4 Th By the bomb's early light

Discuss: Martin J. Sherwin, "The Atomic Bomb and the Origins of

the Cold War," in Dinnerstein and Jackson (eds.), American Vistas, II (on LATTE as “Atomic Diplomacy”)
4) Sept. 8 M The paymaster in the death camp

Discuss: Dwight Macdonald, "The Responsibility of Peoples," in

Memoirs of a Revolutionist (on LATTE)
5) Sept. 10 W The concentration camp universe

Discuss: Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, chapters 12

6) Sept. 11 Th Complete discussion of Totalitarianism, chapters 34
7) Sept. 15 M Lecture on the origins of the Cold War

No assignment

8) Sept. 17 W X marks the spot. . .

Discuss: George F. Kennan, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct," and

Walter Lippmann, The Cold War (on LATTE)
9) Sept. 18 Th Complete discussion of "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" and The

Cold War
10) Sept. 22 M The personal is political

Discuss: essays by Arthur Koestler and Ignazio Silone in

Crossman, ed., The God That Failed

11) Sept. 23 T Discuss essays by Richard Wright and Louis Fischer in The God

That Failed
12) Sept. 24 W Praxis makes perfect: lecture on the Frankfurt School

Discuss: Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, chapters 1-4

13) Sept. 29 M The nascent New Left

Complete discussion of One-Dimensional Man, chapters 5-10

14) Oct. 1 W The Many Dimensions of Herbert Marcuse

Attend at least one panel of international conference on campus

16) Oct. 6 M Destroyer of worlds

Lecture on J. Robert Oppenheimer

No assignment
17) Oct. 8 W "If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying

my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country"E. M. Forster

Lecture on the Hiss/Chambers case

Read: Whitfield, The Culture of the Cold War, chapters 1-2

18) Oct. 13 M The Hiss/Chambers case, closed

No assignment

Read: Schrecker, The Age of McCarthyism, pp. 134-151, 190-220
19) Oct. 15 W The crisis of civil liberties

Discuss: Richard Rovere, Senator Joe McCarthy, chapters 13, and

Schrecker, The Age of McCarthyism, pp. 237-241

20) Oct. 16 Th Patriot games

Complete discussion of Senator Joe McCarthy, chapters 46, see

See It Now, "A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy" (on DVD)
21) Oct. 20 M "Are you now, or have you ever been--?"

Discuss: Testimony of Larry Parks, Budd Schulberg, Elia Kazan

and Lee J. Cobb, in Eric Bentley (ed.), Thirty Years of Treason, pp. 308347, 434-457, 482496, 653666 (on LATTE)
22) Oct. 22 W Seeing Red

Discuss: Hollywood on Trial (on DVD) and Schrecker, The

Age of McCarthyism, pp. 242-257

23) Oct. 22 W 4 pm guest lecture by Arnie Reisman ’64 on “When Red Was a

Scary Color: Hollywood and the Blacklist”
24) Oct. 23 Th How deeply our children will be ashamed . . . remembering how

in so strange a time/common integrity could look like courage"Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "Talk"

25) Oct. 27 M Discuss: Testimony of Lillian Hellman and Arthur Miller, in

Bentley (ed.), Thirty Years of Treason, pp. 533543, 791825 (on LATTE); and Whitfield, Culture of the Cold War, ch. 5

26) Oct. 29 W No way to treat a lady

Discuss: Lillian Hellman, Scoundrel Time (on reserve);

Whitfield, Culture of the Cold War, chapter 8
27) Oct. 30 Th The power and the glory: lecture on Reinhold Niebuhr

Read: Whitfield, Culture of the Cold War, chapter 4

29) Nov. 5 W The politics of pragmatism

Discuss: Sidney Hook, Political Power and Personal Freedom,

chapters 9, 11, 1314, 16
30) Nov. 6 Th Complete discussion of Political Power and Personal Freedom,

chapters 18-22

31) Nov. 10 M Obedience to authority

Discuss: Edward Dmytryk (dir.), The Caine Mutiny; and

Whitfield, Culture of the Cold War, chapters 3, 67
32) Nov. 12 W A few bad men

Discuss: C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, chapters 15

33) Nov. 13 Th Continue discussion of The Power Elite, chapters 610
34) Nov. 17 M Complete discussion of The Power Elite, chapters 1115
35) Nov. 19 W Nukes and kooks

Discuss: Stanley Kubrick (dir.), Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned

to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
36) Nov. 20 Th The "comfortable concentration camp"

Discuss: Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, chapters 19

37) Nov. 24 M Complete discussion of The Feminine Mystique, chapters 1014
38) Dec. 1 M Even paranoids have enemies

Discuss: John Frankenheimer (dir.), The Manchurian Candidate,

and Whitfield, Culture of the Cold War, chapter 9
39) Dec. 3 W The end of Cold War ideology

Discuss: Noam Chomsky, "The Responsibility of Intellectuals," in

American Power and the New Mandarins (on LATTE)
40) Dec. 4 Th From the Fifties to the Sixties

Discuss: Whitfield, "The Stunt Man: Abbie Hoffman (1936-

1989)," in Barbara L. Tischler, ed., Sights on the Sixties, pp. 103-19 (on LATTE)
40) Dec. 8 M Conclusion

No assignment


A THIRD EXAMINATION will be given during the final exam week, to cover only the material since the second exam was administered.
A critical essay of about 7 pages is also required, on a book dealing with a significant and relevant feature of this era, to be determined in consultation with the instructor. The paper should be analytical and interpretive. It is due Wednesday, December 10, with no exceptions or extensions apart from medical reasons. WARNING: The grade on the paper will be lowered in cases of egregious lapses of proofreading (such as spelling and punctuation) and errors of grammar.
Attendance and participation in this seminar are also required.
Because computers are distracting, please do not use them in the classroom, except by special permission. Turn cellphones off.
The following books are available for purchase in the bookstore:
Arendt, Hannah Totalitarianism

Crossman, Richard, ed. The God That Failed

Friedan, Betty The Feminine Mystique

Hersey, John Hiroshima

Marcuse, Herbert One-Dimensional Man

Mills, C. Wright The Power Elite

Rovere, Richard Senator Joe McCarthy

Schrecker, Ellen, ed. The Age of McCarthyism, 2nd. ed.

Whitfield, Stephen J. The Culture of the Cold War

All other assignments are available in LATTE.

Read carefully Section 3 of Rights and Responsibilities, to ensure that all work submitted in Amst 185b satisfies the criteria of academic integrity.
Any student who has a documented disability should inform the instructor at the beginning of the semester so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
office hours: 1-2:30 M W in Brown 314 and by appointment (x63035).

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