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Archive for the 'OH: Resources' Category

Obama And The Chicago Establishment

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Though presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign has been extensively covered by the media, little has been said about his roots in Chicago politics. Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, explores Obama’s tenure as a local politician for Chicago’s South Side.

Listen to the Fresh Air Segment (45 minutes)

Oral History Resources

Friday, November 16th, 2007

The following links are some of the best online resources for our project that I could locate. If you find a resource that should be added to this list, please post  a comment below.

  • Since 21 February 2007, a new online collection of interviews with some of the most prominent diplomats of the 20th century are available from the Library of Congress. Their library of oral histories is enormous but is worth exploring. To explore effectively, one must navigate their search engine creatively. For instance, when I typed in “Willy Brandt”, I received this juicy oral history interview with Foreign Service Officer Karl F. Mautner. For another example, I entered “Konrad Adenauer” and benefited from the opportunity to explore an interview with Richard W. Boehm who was an Economics Officer in Berlin. In the name of efficiency, one is well advised to use the “ctrl F” function to search for information relevant to their desired topic of study.
  • Living in the Question? The Berlin Nuclear Crisis Critical Oral History by Benina Berger Gould of UC Berkeley. This research brings together the formal and informal historical voices of the Berlin Wall Crisis of 1961 and scrutinizes the questions asked by significant politicians, scholars, and students almost thirty years later. The formal history comes from Berlin Wall Critical Oral History meetings, held 1988 to 1990 at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and includes primary sources about the crisis either written by the participants themselves or about their participation in the decision making during the Berlin Crisis. The informal history draws from memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, and written memos and letters found in archives. Anecdotal material drawn from the back-channeling correspondence between Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev and US president John F. Kennedy and personality profiles mandated by the US State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency are also included. The author investigates the link between memory and history. This working paper brings the reader into the mindset of the Berlin Crisis participants.

  • 12 June 2007  marks the 20th anniversary of Reagan’s call to Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall and reunite East and West Germany. The source of this line has been a topic of debate among both scholars and former officials in the Reagan administration. Some have said Reagan was simply repeating the line written by speechwriter Peter Robinson, who was charged with drafting the speech. Others have said the line was Reagan’s own, derived from an idea held long before his presidency. The line was removed in several drafts, but Reagan surprised everyone when he reinserted the line while on stage. The Miller Center for Public Affairs explores perspectives on this speech.  You may also listen to the  speech in its entirety on this page.  James  Mann,  op-ed contributor to the NY Times, demands that, upon the 20th anniversary of  Reagan’s speech, we  “Tear Down That Myth”
  • The Truman Library’s exploration of The Marshall Plan includes about two dozen oral history interviews. Several of them are fantastic.

  •  Here are excerpts of CIA weekly summaries regarding the Soviet blockade of West Berlin and the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. It reflects the tensions mounting during the Berlin blockade and the hope of compromise. They also reflect the growing fear of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and the possible strengthening of the blockade to impede the efforts of the Western airlift during the winter months.

  • Interview with President Bush I on the collapse of the Wall
  • Interview with Gorbachev on the Fall of the Wall from the CNN Cold War website. This site is an amazing resource. Peruse it wisely.
  • All of the transcripts from all of the CNN Cold War interviews have been made available by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Episode 3: Marshall Plan, Episode 4: Berlin 1948-49, Episode 9: The Wall, Episode 23: The Wall Comes Down.
  • How cool is this? The Journal “German Life and Letters” offers 10 years of backdated articles for free. Poke around!
  • From German Life and Letters: Remembering the Berlin Wall
  • Charles F. Pennacchio, “The East German Communists and the Origins of the Berlin Blockade Crisis,” East European Quarterly, Vol. 29, no. 3 (Fall 1995)
  • Here is a comprehensive collection of primary sources from Mt. Holyoke dealing with Cold War and Berlin in particular
  • Khrushchev’s Secret Speech on the Berlin Crisis, August 1961