History 311-010
Postwar America II: The U.S., 1963—Present
Spring 2013
Dr. Gary May
119 Munroe Hall
Voice Mail: 831-0800,
Office Hours: Wednesday 2:00-4:00 pm, or by appointment
It's best to let me know in advance if you wish to see me.
e-mail address:  garymay@udel.edu

  This course covers recent American political, diplomatic, and social history from the death of John F. Kennedy to the election of Barack Obama. It consists of lectures, readings, film documentaries, and discussion. There will be one midterm and a final examination (see below for details).
 

Course Outline: We will spend several weeks on each of the following sections. Students should read ahead since time spent will vary.

I. Liberalism in Crisis: LBJ
    reading: Chafe, pp.216-368; Chafe (Lives), LBJ chapter, Robert Kennedy chapter; Caputo, entire book; Isserman and Kazin, pp.103-259.
Topics covered: LBJ: roots and rise to power; the rise and fall of the Great Society; LBJ and Vietnam; the development of the counter-culture and student protest movements; Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement; the rise of Black Power.

Salon.com published two pieces based on my forthcoming book, Bending Toward Justice.

Term Sheets:
LBJ, 1963 - 1969
LBJ: The Quest for Greatness
The Great Society: Evaluated
LBJ and Vietnam
1960s Youth Rebellion - Why
Youth Rebellion - A History

II. “Bring Us Together:” Richard M. Nixon in the White House
    reading: Chafe, pp.369-415; Chafe (Lives), Nixon chapter; Isserman and Kazin,pp.261-300; Schulman, pp.23-52.
Topics covered: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly;” the Nixon character; Nixon’s diplomacy—Vietnam, Russia, and China; Watergate.

Term Sheets:
Nixon

III. The Anti-Imperial Presidents: Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter
    reading: Chafe, pp.416-454; Schulman, pp.53-189.
Topics covered: Ford and the Nixon pardon; the rise and fall of Jimmy Carter; the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Term Sheets:
Ford, Carter 1970s

IV. “Morning in America?: The 1980s”
    reading: Chafe, pp.455-480, Chafe, (Lives), Reagan chapter; Wilentz, pp.127-287.
Topics covered: the Reagan Presidency; economic boom times: costs and consequences; the Iran-Contra Affair; ending the Cold War.

Term Sheets:
Ronald Regan in the 1980s
Not Ready for Mt. Rushmore

V. Poppy in Power: The First Bush Presidency
    reading: Chafe, pp.481-495; Wilentz, pp. 288-322.
Topics Covered: “That Vision Thing”; Gulf War I.

Term Sheets:
George H. W. Bush

VI. Boomers in Power 1: The Clinton Years
    reading: Chafe, pp.495-53;Chafe (Lives), the Clintons chapter; Wilentz, pp. 323-407 .
Topics covered: the rise of Bill Clinton and the election of 1992; reinventing government; “Life: The Movie”—the impact of the media-tabloid culture; Monica, Bill, and Ken: The Impeachment.

Term Sheet:
The Many Lives of William Jefferson Clinton


 VII. Boomers in Power II: The George W. Bush Years—The Return of the Imperial Presidency
    reading: Chafe, pp.525-553.
Topics Covered: Fathers and Sons: 41 vs. 43; September 11, Iraq and Beyond.
 

Rules, Regulations, and Things That Drive Dr. May Crazy
 

EXAMINATIONS:The midterm exam will be given on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Details on what will be covered will be given well in advance of the exam. The exam will count 45% of your final grade. No make-ups will be given except for extraordinary reasons, which must be documented in writing.


The final exam is scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 2013 from 10:30-12:30 p.m. in KRB 005, and will count 55% of your grade. It will cover everything since the midterm exam. Again, no make-ups will be given as above. All exams are essay in form.

Class READINGS: Students are REQUIRED to read the assigned books. Questions on the exams cannot be fully answered without drawing on class readings. Repeating lecture material-even perfectly-will not earn a student a passing grade, without evidence that the reading has been done and incorporated into answers.
STUDENT BEHAVIOR: Students have the right to expect that their instructors present organized and-hopefully-interesting lectures. Professors have hopes and expectations too. Students are expected to arrive in class on time and for the rest of the hour to listen attentively and ask lively questions. Reading, texting, sleeping, chatting with friends, bolting for the door when a film is being shown, is NOT acceptable behavior. It will be dealt with according to the STUDENT HANDBOOK ON ACADEMIC DISHONESTY AND BEHAVIOR. Students should obtain a copy and be familiar with its policies on behavior, cheating, and plagiarism because they will be followed in this course.
IF YOU FIND THESE POLICIES UNACCEPTABLE,
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE.