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Spring 2002

The World in the Twentieth Century
Instructor: Jeff Jones   
   Office: 224a  McIver 334-4068; home phone: (919)-942-0681
Office Hours: M 3:30-4:30; W 1-1:50; F 10-10:50

This class will examine global issues in the 20th century, focusing mainly on the post-World War II period, from the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, to the complex, high-tech, evolving world of today.  We will view this history from the point of view of those living it, including students in the class themselves.  Everyone has an “historical consciousness,” an understanding of the way the world became what it is today, and the main purpose of this class is to introduce students to alternative ways of interpreting history by weighing the merits of differing points of view.

We will examine the world by regions with a number of themes in mind: the Cold War; the rise & fall of communism; nationalism; the rise of terrorism; de-colonization/neo-colonialism; the international economy; racial, ethnic, & religious conflict; gender; class; & environmental issues.

By the end of the class each student will understand, firstly, that history is not just the memorization of dates and facts, but rather the interpretation of the past; and, secondly, that we tend to see the world through a number of basic assumptions that are not always accurate.  Students will take from the class the skills to critically appraise varying historical arguments and to clearly express their own interpretations.

· How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed, Slavena Drakulic
· When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, Le Ly Hayslip
· Matigari, Ngugi wa Thiong’o
· I, Rigoberta Menchu, Rigoberta Menchu and Elisabeth Burgos-Debray
· E-Reserve and online material identified below
· Optional Text: T. E. Vadney, The World Since 1945

Films: “Before the Rain;” “Men With Guns;” and optional films to be identified.  The two required films will be on reserve at the Teaching & Learning Center (McNutt).

Course Web Page (access information): There is an extensive web page for the course at   When prompted for the User Name, type hist018b; tab down to Password and type abcde to continue.  The page has class notes and readings; an archive of video clips; maps; visual tours; a directory of web pages (Internet Resources); basic information on countries covered in the course (Country Files); and Internet Assignments.

Assignments:     Two 3-4 page papers                               15% each
                            Mid-term Exam                                       15%
                            Participation                                            30%
                            Final Exam                                              25%

Participation: The 30% participation grade consists of in-class quizzes, Internet Assignments, and Reaction Pieces (1-2 pages, double-spaced) to the assigned readings designated below.  These are intended to be your reaction to or opinion of the readings, not a summary.  Students who miss these quizzes can make them up with a legitimate medical excuse or other reason.  Inform me beforehand if you know you have to miss an announced in-class quiz and we will schedule a make-up.

Extra Credit: You can receive credit for doing extra Internet Assignments and/or writing one-page reactions to campus events or outside lectures dealing with the history of the world in the twentieth century.  I prefer to have prior knowledge of events you decide to write on, so please try to bring them to my attention.  Each extra assignment is worth one point and students can do as many as five.  The extra points go toward the participation grade with everything over 30 added to the final grade.  (Note: No Extra Credit assignments will be accepted after Fri., May 3).

Exams: There is a midterm (worth 15 %) and a final (worth 25 %).  Each exam covers only the part of the course for which they are designated, so they are not cumulative.  However, the final exam also includes a comprehensive take-home essay question (worth 10 % of the overall course grade) that draws on broader issues dealt with all semester.

Grading: Grades are compiled on a point system.  For example, if you make a 90 on the 1st paper (13.5/15) + an 80 on the 2nd paper (12/15) + 84 on the Mid-term (12.6/15) + 90 on participation (27/30) + 82 on the Final (20.5/25), your Final Grade = 85.6 = 86 or B

All essays will be graded on the basis of the following criteria:
1). Level of analysis/argumentation.  Present a thoughtful argument and interpretation, not a mere summary of facts.  (Note:  it does not matter which side of an issue one argues, only how well or how poorly one makes the argument).
2). Use of evidence.  The material you select to support your thesis must be relevant and must clearly back up your argument.
3). Clarity of communication.  You must present the evidence and express your argument in a clear, comprehensible manner.

A=excellent performance on all three points.
B=above average on all three, or excellent
     on some tempered by flaws in others.
C=average across the board, or above
     average in part but with significant flaws.
D=below average overall performance.

Lecture and Assignment Schedule:
Monday, January 14.  Introduction: The Study of History and WWII
**1st Paper Assignment: In your opinion, what were the main reasons US President Harry Truman decided to use atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945?  Do you agree or disagree with his decision?  Required Sources (on e-reserve or online): Paul Fussell, “Thank God for the Atomic Bomb;” William Blum, “Hiroshima: Needless Slaughter, Useful Terror;” and Extra! Update, “Media to Smithsonian: History is Bunk;” Government documents (Stimson’s diary entry and President Truman’s meeting with advisers); and the course web page readings Basic Information on the Bomb; Second Guessing Hiroshima; “Hiroshima: Was it Necessary?” by Doug Long; A Petition to the President of the United States; and “The Decision That Launched the Enola Gay” by John Correll.  Optional sources: web pages from the course web page directory and additional sites or material you identify.  Refer to the Paper Guidelines for this assignment.  Due: Monday, January 28

Wednesday, January 16.  The Holocaust and the Origins of the Cold War

Friday, January 18.  The Origins of the Cold War (cont’d)

Wednesday, January 23.  Truman and the Bomb: Discussion of Readings for the 1st Paper
· Reading for next class: speech by Soviet leader Andrei Zhdanov

Friday, January 25.  Stalinism and the Soviet Union

Monday, January 28.  Stalinism and the Soviet Union (cont’d); FIRST PAPER DUE
· Reading for next class: “Russia Is Finished” by Jeffrey Tayler in The Atlantic Monthly

Wednesday, January 30.  Post-Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe

BEGIN READING Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed; **Reaction Piece to this reading due in class Friday, February 8

Friday, February 1.  Eastern Europe Since 1945

Monday, February 4.  Yugoslavia and War in the Balkans

Wednesday, February 6.  Yugoslavia and Conflict in the Balkans (cont’d)
· Film: “Before the Rain,” Jarrell Hall (Jackson Library) at 4:00

Friday, February 8.  Yugoslavia (cont’d): Discussion of Drakulic, How We Survived Communism

Monday, February 11.  In-class viewing of “1989: People Power”

Wednesday, February 13.  India: The Struggle for Independence

Friday, February 15.  India: The Struggle for Independence (cont’d)
· Reading for next class: excerpts from Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya; **Reaction Piece to this reading due in class

Monday, February 18.  India and Neighbors Since Independence
· Reading for next class: Material on the War in Afghanistan

BEGIN READING Le Ly Hayslip, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places; **Reaction Piece to this reading due in class Wednesday, March 6

Wednesday, February 20.  A Region in Conflict: Afghanistan and Pakistan
· Reading for next class: e-reserve article “‘Father is Close, Mother is Close, but Neither Is as Close as Chairman Mao” from Wild Swans by Jung Chang

Friday, February 22.  China: from Confucianism to Communism

Monday, February 25.  The People’s Republic of China
· Reading for next class: CCP Report on Rising Social Tensions

Wednesday, February 27.  The PRC Today
Friday, March 1.  The Origins of the Vietnam War

Monday, March 4.  The Vietnam War and After

Wednesday, March 6.  Discussion of Hayslip, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

Friday, March 8.  Japan Since 1945

March 9- 17: SPRING BREAK

Monday, March 18.  The Pacific Rim

Wednesday, March 20.  Mid-term Exam

Friday, March 22.  Iran: From Secularism to Fundamentalism

Monday, March 25.  Iran: From Secularism to Fundamentalism (cont’d)

Wednesday, March 27.  Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
· Reading for next class: Material on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Monday, April 1.  The Arab-Israeli Conflict Today: Discussion of Readings

Wednesday, April 3.  The Gulf War

BEGIN READING Ngugi, Matigari; **Reaction Piece to this reading due in class Wednesday, April 10

Friday, April 5.  West Africa: Ghana
· Reading for next class: e-reserve excerpt from Eye of the Family by V. Harden

Monday, April 8.  Ghana (cont’d) and Kenya
**Internet Assignment: “Apartheid on Trial” due by Monday, April 15

Wednesday, April 10.  Kenya: Discussion of Matigari

Friday, April 12.  South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid
· Reading for next class: e-reserve short story “City Lovers” by Nadine Gordimer

Monday, April 15.  South Africa (cont’d)

BEGIN READING Menchu, I, Rigoberta Menchu; **Internet Assignment: “Rigmarole over Rigoberta” due by Monday, April 29

Wednesday, April 17.  South America: Populism, Dictatorship, and Democracy
· Reading for next class: “Argentina’s Crisis, IMF’s Fingerprints” by Mark Weisbrot

Friday, April 19.  South America (cont’d): Argentina

Monday, April 22.  South America (cont’d): Chile
· Reading for next class: excerpts from Child of the Dark by Maria de Jesus and The Causes of Hunger; **Reaction Piece due in class

Wednesday, April 24.  South America (cont’d): Discussion of Readings

Friday, April 26.  Central America: Nicaragua

Monday, April 29.  Central America (cont’d): Guatemala
**Tuesday, April 30.  Film: “Men With Guns,” Jarrell Hall (Jackson Library) at 4:00

Wednesday, May 1.  Guatemala (cont’d): Discussion of I, Rigoberta Menchu

Friday, May 3.  The Caribbean: Cuba

Monday, May 6.  Race, Class, and Gender in the US; SECOND PAPER DUE
**In class viewing of The Andy Griffith Show, “Ellie Runs for Town Council”

Tuesday, May 7.  To Be Announced

Final Exam: MONDAY, MAY 13 8:00-11:00 AM