History 475    Winter 2009            Document Response One (on MP, Ch. 2)

A good answer will consist of about 5-7 thoughtful sentences per question and will draw specific examples from the assigned readings.

1. Select two primary sources from this chapter that make an interesting pairing.  Explain why you find this pairing interesting.  For instance, you might write about two sources that offer different views on the same issue, or you might write about interesting or surprising parallels between two sources.  (note: the seven primary sources appear on pp. 38-54.)

2. Which two or three primary sources best support Offner’s argument?  Give brief examples from each source.

3. What are some of the most important points Gaddis raises in defense of the Truman administration’s foreign policy?  (Pay attention also to Gaddis’s analysis of Stalin, which forms part of Gaddis’s defense of Truman administration policymaking.)



History 475    Winter 2009            Document Response Two (on MP, Ch. 3)

1. What broad social concerns were on display in Documents 3 and 5?  What broad patterns do you see running through these two primary sources?

2. Using your own words, write down in one sentence Marchand’s main argument about postwar American culture.  Which supporting example or idea in his essay do you find most interesting or surprising?

3. To what extent does Kelly Schrum’s article on Seventeen magazine support (or contradict) Vance Packard’s critique of “hidden persuaders”?



History 475    Winter 2009        Document Response Three (on MP, Ch. 5 & Shircliffe)

1. Based on the primary documents and Charles M. Payne’s essay, write a paragraph arguing that we should replace Martin Luther King Day with a new holiday called Highlander Day.  That is, how would one make the case that the Highlander Folk School has more historical significance than Martin Luther King?

2. What was Stokely Carmichael’s message, and how well do some of the other readings in this chapter support it?  Is his message obsolete, or does it still have relevance today?

3. What is Shircliffe’s thesis?  Does her article do more to highlight the successes or the failures of the postwar African American civil rights movement?



History 475    Winter 2009            Document Response Four (on MP, Ch. 6)

1. Give Ronald Reagan’s 1964 speech a close analysis.  What are his key principles and/or assumptions?  How effectively does he support or illustrate them?

2. Imagine you were just elected U.S. president today and that you want to end poverty.  What would you do that would be similar to LBJ’s Great Society?  What would you do that would be different?

3.To what extent did the rise of conservatism in the 1960s and 1970s emerge as a result of racial backlash among whites?  Answer using Matthew D. Lassiter’s essay and at least two other sources.



History 475    Winter 2009            Document Response Five (on MP, Ch. 9)

A good answer will consist of about 5-7 thoughtful sentences per question and will draw specific examples from the assigned readings.

1. Based on Documents 1 and 4, what were the concerns and values of the Vietnamese revolutionaries?

2. What was George Ball’s advice (source 6) and why do you think Lyndon Johnson chose not to follow it?

3. Select two primary or secondary sources from this chapter that make an interesting pairing.  Explain why you find this pairing interesting.  You might write about two sources that offer different views on the same issue, or you might write about interesting or surprising parallels between two sources.  (Just don’t repeat what you wrote for Questions 1 and 2 above).



History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Six (on MP, Ch. 7)

1. According to the Port Huron Statement, what was wrong with U.S. society?  What parts of this statement do you find most or least compelling for our own world today?

2. How would a member of the Weathermen (Source 3) respond to Raymond Mungo’s account of life at the Total Loss Farm (Source 5)?  How would Mungo likely reply to the Weathermen?  Which position, if either, would you side with?

3. Making references to both of the chapter’s secondary source readings (Isserman/Kazin & Heclo), what is your overall assessment of the New Left?  Was it effective or ineffective? Noble or misguided?, etc.



History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Seven (on MP, Ch. 8)

1. Explain three ways in which economic factors and/or social class differences shaped debates about women and the women’s movement.  Consider both the primary and secondary sources in the chapter.

2. Historian Alice Echols describes a protest conducted at the 1968 Miss America pageant.  Making reference to Echols and Beth Bailey’s overall essays, do you think that this protest was an effective or counterproductive tactic?

3. Compare and contrast the women’s movement(s) and the Civil Rights Movement(s).  What dynamics, tactics, and levels of success did they have in common?  In what ways were they different?



History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Eight (on MP, Ch 10)
**Note: it’s ok to skip source 5 in this chapter

1. Give a close reading to the speeches by Carter in 1979 and Reagan in 1980 (sources 1 & 2).  How are the two speeches similar?  How are they different?  How does this analysis help explain why Reagan beat Carter in the 1980 presidential election?

2. According to Benjamin Ginsberg and Martin Shefter, how did the Republican Party in the 1980s weaken the Democratic Party’s sources of strength?

3. Historian Jules Tygiel provides many economic statistics on the Reagan era.  Select three statistics that strike you as particularly significant for understanding whether Americans in the 1980s were getting closer to or further away from the good life.



History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Nine (on MP, Ch 13)

1. How can the data in the 2000 election chart (source 6) help explain the issues selected by Republicans in their 1994 “Contract with America” (source 3)?  (For our purposes, let’s assume that the 2000 election patterns were roughly similar to election patterns in 1994.  Also, it’s ok to engage in some speculation as you try to connect the election chart to the Contract issues.)

2. Briefly explain two examples that reveal what Bruce Miroff means when he argues that Clinton was a postmodern president.  Do you think that having a postmodern president (as defined by Miroff) is a good or bad thing for American democracy?

3. Give Bill Clinton an overall grade (A+ to F).  Be sure to explain the criteria on which you base this grade, and offer at least three specific examples.


History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Ten (on MP, Ch 11)

1. Imagine that you were elected to a town council, and Wal-Mart had requested permission to build a supercenter store in your town.  Drawing on Sources 3 and 4 and the Barbara Ehrenreich essay, explain what your decision would be regarding Wal-Mart’s possible arrival.

2. Drawing on Source 5 and at least one other reading in the chapter, explain whether or not you think Americans should take strong actions to prevent about outsourcing.

3. Drawing on Sources 2 and 7 and the Michael J. Weiss essay, what are two features or effects of the cluster system and mass customization that you find good?  What are two features that you find negative or worrisome?  What is you overall view of these trends?



History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Eleven (on MP, Ch 12)
**Note: It’s ok to stop reading this chapter at page 459.

1. Based on your own experience living in Southern California, what are two important things that the L.A Times article (Source 3) gets right?  In your opinion, what are two important things that the article gets wrong or fails to mention?

2. What does George J. Sanchez (the first secondary-source author) mean when he writes that “Americans produced largely cultural explanations for structural social problems”?  How persuasive is his evidence to support this argument?

3. What parts of Source 4 support Sanchez’s argument?  What parts of Source 4 complicate or contradict his argument?



History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Twelve (on Mart and Huntington)

1. What do you consider the best three examples that Mart provides to support her argument that American cultural values shaped U.S. policy toward the Middle East?

2. All things considered, how persuasive do you find Mart’s emphasis on cultural factors?  That is, how important were cultural concerns, as opposed to Cold War security concerns, in shaping U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East?

3. To what extent do you find Huntington’s conception of “a world of civilizations” an accurate way of understanding today’s world?  What does this way of seeing the world reveal and what does it obscure?  Try to come up with at least one strength and at least one weakness in Huntington’s conception of the world.



History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Thirteen (Huntington and Cmiel)

1. Based on Huntington’s 1996 article, what kinds of foreign policies do you think he would want the United States to adopt today?  Come up with at least three policies he might suggest.

2. According to Kenneth Cmiel, what made Amnesty International so effective?

3. What does it mean to say that human rights is “perhaps the ultimate empty signifier”?  Why does Cmiel defend this analytical imprecision?  Do you agree with Cmiel on this point?


History 475    Winter 2009    Document Response Fourteen (on MP, Ch 14 and Langewiesche)

1. What does Michael H. Hunt mean when he writes that post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy featured “strong strains of fundamentalism”? (p. 541).  Select one or two of the other readings in Chapter 14 and explain whether those sources support or complicate Hunt’s notion of an American fundamentalism.

2. Based on Langewiesche’s article, identify at least two positive features and two negative features of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. 

3. Select two primary or secondary sources from this week’s readings that make an interesting pairing.  Explain why you find this pairing interesting.  You might write about two sources that offer different views on the same issue, or you might write about interesting or surprising parallels between two sources.  (Just don’t repeat what you wrote for Questions 1 and 2 above).