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Archive for the 'USH: Post AP Ideas' Category

The Audio Book Club on The Killer Angels

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

In this week’s audio book club, Yale historian David Blight talks about the significance of the hit novel The Killer Angels with Emily Bazelon and David Plotz. Published in 1974, the book won a Pulitzer Prize but didn’t become a best-seller until two decades later. What’s its enduring appeal? Is it pro-war or anti-war? Did it rehabilitate the reputation of Confederate commander James Longstreet at the expense of the beloved Robert E. Lee?

21st Century Slavery

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Today, 27 million men, women and children are held, sold and trafficked as slaves throughout the world. In Slavery: A 21st Century Evil, Rageh Omaar embarks on a worldwide journey to uncover the truth about the flourishing 21st century slave trade. Episode by episode, his investigation will expose the brutal reality of modern slavery and unpick the reasons why this age-old evil persists.

Check out this series and the accompanying web archives from Al Jazeera

The Reckoning Blog: The Future of American Power

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Thanks to a catastrophic series of decisions by presidents of both parties that radically deregulated our financial system and arrogantly dismissed the “lessons of Vietnam” as dusty, irrelevant history, the United States has shortened the period during which it will remain the dominant power in the 21st century. I know, I know, all the presidential candidates say we’re still the best! And so we are, in almost every economic and military measure. But measurements of power are like the altimeter of an aircraft: It’s not the altitude that matters, it’s the trajectory, and by now most Americans finally understand that Captain America is trending downward.

Michael Moran’s Slate Blog about The Future of American Power

RSA Animate – Crises of Capitalism

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

In this RSA Animate, renowned academic David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?

RSA Animate – Crises of Capitalism

Robert Reich vs. Supply Side Economics

Sunday, September 18th, 2011
Robert Reich Debunks 6 Big GOP Lies About The Economy

The Nation That Fell To Earth

Monday, July 18th, 2011

It’s the year 2031–one generation removed from Sept. 11, 2001–and Americans are commemorating the 30th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington. How well did America respond to that day, when viewed with the benefit of hindsight? How has history judged our leaders’ actions?

Here, a [hypothetical] historian looks back on that distant event and explains how 9/11 would change America, and the world, in ways that few could have imagined.

Niall Ferguson imagines the future in this Foreign Policy piece.

The End of Men?

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences.

Hanna Rosin offers some paradigm shaking evidence in this piece from The Atlantic.

Note: it might be best to disregard the headline grabbing title of this article. Silly antics. 

The Crash of 2008-09

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Read these four articles on the Crash of 2008-2009.

  • Capitalist Manifesto, Zakaria (5 pages)
  • Franklin Delano Obama, Krugman (1 page)
  • FDR’s Lessons for Obama, Kennedy (2 pages)
  • Barack Hoover Obama, Baker (9 pages)

All four authors are very highly regarded.

You should also read this “truly terrifying data about the real state of the U.S. economy“. If nothing else, take a few minutes to peruse the data tables (you will find such data  useful when constructing your essay).

After you have read all of the articles you are to type a 1500 word (2 page, normal font and margins), single spaced essay which, in no particular order:

  • assesses what the Obama administration has done hitherto
  • evaluates historical precedents
  • prescribes a solution for the Obama administration
  • warns the Obama administration of potential pitfalls
  • cites all sources given above but does not abuse quotes (no more than 10% of your essay can be quotes)

We will discuss your essays in class. Oh, and don’t be surprised if there is a multiple choice and matching quiz on all of the readings. Good luck.

How America Can Rise Again

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Is America going to hell? After a year of economic calamity that many fear has sent us into irreversible decline, the author finds reassurance in the peculiarly American cycle of crisis and renewal, and in the continuing strength of the forces that have made the country great: our university system, our receptiveness to immigration, our culture of innovation. In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here’s the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation’s future.

Read James Fallows’ piece

19 Questions

U.S. News Report on top universities

Top 100 Most Influential Americans

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Who are the most influential figures in American history? The Atlantic recently asked ten eminent historians. The result was The Atlantic’s Top 100—and some insight into the nature of influence and the contingency of history. Was Walt Disney really more influential than Elizabeth Cady Stanton? Benjamin Spock than Richard Nixon? Elvis Presley than Lewis and Clark? John D. Rockefeller than Bill Gates? Babe Ruth than Frank Lloyd Wright?

The List

Methodology & Analysis