HIST 462
For the Soul of Mankind: The Cold War and American Foreign Relations Fall 2021
Division II

Class Details

The United States emerged from the Second World War with unprecedented power and influence; for the first time it was poised to take on a level of global leadership that it had long shirked. Yet the U.S. faced an uncertain world, marked by the ascendance of the communist-led Soviet Union as a rival superpower, the impending decolonization of European empires, the emergence of a nuclear arms race, and a host of changes to domestic American life. What ensued was a 45-year Cold War–a battle for the soul of mankind–marked by American officials’ relentless determination to combat the threat of communism at home and abroad. This course explores a range of scholarly approaches to that conflict, focusing on high-level diplomacy, hot wars, propaganda, the cultural cold war, and more. In addition to reading and discussing works that exemplify key approaches to studying America’s Cold War, students will develop an original research topic and research and write a 20- to 25- page paper, based in primary sources, on a Cold War-related topic of their choosing.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 10-20
Class#: 1658
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, several short papers, and a 20- to 25-page research paper
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Advanced history majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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