HST 3160: Recent America

Fall 2011

Course Description and Goals: 
This course is an introduction to United States history from 1945 to the present.  It will examine American life in its various political, economic, diplomatic, cultural, social, and military contexts.  At the end of the term students should have a measurable understanding of some of the facts, concepts, and historical interpretations that shaped the post-World War II era.  Their understanding of and ability to analyze these facts, concepts, and interpretations will be assessed through in-class exams, out-of-class writing assignments, and classroom discussions.

Required Texts: 
George Donelson Moss, Moving On: The American People Since 1945, 4th ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010)
Laura Shapiro, Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America (New York: Penguin Books, 2004)
Bill Shanahan and John P. Brackin, Stealth Patrol: The Making of a Vietnam Ranger (Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 2003)
Roberta Price, Huerfano: A Memoir of Life in the Counterculture (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2004)

Exam Policy: 
There will be two in-class exams given during the semester—a mid-term and a final.  Test questions may include information from class lecture, discussion, multi-media presentations, the textbooks, and other assigned readings.  These questions may include any combination of the following formats: essay, short answer, and identification.

Writing Assignments: 
There will be several out-of-class writing assignments that make up a substantial portion of your final grade:
1) Each student will write reviews of three of the required texts, which should be submitted via email (scott.billingsley@uncp.edu) according to the course schedule below.  Please consult the instructions for writing book reviews located on the course Blackboard site.
2) Each student will write reviews of three journal articles or book chapters, which should be submitted via email (scott.billingsley@uncp.edu) according to the course schedule below.  These articles may be downloaded from the course Blackboard site.  Please consult the instructions for writing article reviews also located on Blackboard.

Attendance Policy: 
Students are expected to attend class regularly and be on time.  You are responsible for getting any information from class lecture and discussion that you might miss due to your absence before the next class meeting.  Please consult the section on Class Attendance Policy in the catalog (http://www.uncp.edu/catalog/pdf/acad_pol.pdf) for official University policy.

Make-up Policy: 
Students should provide me with an approved written excuse (doctor’s note, jury notice, obituary, etc.) if they must miss an exam.  Make-up exams will be in identification and/or essay formats.  Outside writing assignments must be turned in on the date due.  Students will lose ten percentage points for each calendar day the assignment is late.

Religious Holiday Policy:
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has a legal and moral obligation to accommodate all students who must be absent from classes or miss scheduled exams in order to observe religious holidays; we must be careful not to inhibit or penalize these students for exercising their rights to religious observance.  To accommodate students’ religious holidays, each student will be allowed two excused absences each semester with the following conditions:

  • Students, who submit written notification to their instructors within two weeks of the beginning of the semester, shall be excused from class or other scheduled academic activity to observe a religious holy day of their faith.  Excused absences are limited to two class sessions (days) per semester. 
  • Students shall be permitted a reasonable amount of time to make up tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance.
  • Students should not be penalized due to absence from class or other scheduled academic activity because of religious observances.  

A student who is to be excused from class for a religious observance is not required to provide a second-party certification of the reason for the absence.  Furthermore, a student who believes that he or she has been unreasonably denied an education benefit due to religious beliefs or practices may seek redress through the student grievance procedure.

Code of Conduct:
Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the University’s Code of Conduct outlined in the student handbook (http://www.uncp.edu/sa/handbook/html/rights.htm).  Disruptive behavior in the classroom, including extraneous talking and the use of electronic devices, will not be tolerated and may result in expulsion from the class.

Communication Policy:
Students should regularly check their University email accounts and the Announcements section of the Blackboard site for information about the course. It is the students’ responsibility to consult these sources and be aware of any announcements or revisions to the course schedule.

Students with Documented Disabilities: 
Any student with a documented learning, physical, chronic health, psychological, visual or hearing disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disability Support Services and the instructor as early in the semester as possible (preferably within the first week).  All discussions will remain confidential.  This publication is available in alternative formats upon request.  Please contact Disability Support Services, DF Lowry Building, Room 103 or call 910.521.6695.

Withdrawal from the Course: 
The last day you may drop this course with a grade of “W” is Monday October 17, 2011.

Academic Honesty: 
Academic misconduct in any form will not be tolerated.  It is your responsibility to recognize and understand the various types of academic misconduct, including plagiarism.  Please consult the Academic Honor Code in the Student Handbook or at UNCP’s Division of Student Affairs website (http://www.uncp.edu/sa/pol_pub/honor_code.htm) for official guidelines regarding the definition and handling of academic misconduct.  You may also consult the following website for more information regarding plagiarism:


Grade Notification: 
To protect the confidentiality of student records, I will not discuss grades via the telephone or email.  Please see me personally or consult Blackboard or Braveweb if you wish to know your grades.

Grading Scale: 
A            94-100
A-            90-93
B+            87-89
B            84-86
B-            80-83
C+            77-79
C            74-76
C-            70-73
D+            67-69
D            64-66
D-            60-63
F            0-59

Exams: 30%
Mid-term: 15%
Final: 15%
Book Reviews: 45%
Shapiro: 15%
Shanahan: 15%
Price: 15%
Journal articles: 25%

Course Schedule:

Week 1 (August 22): War Years (Moss, Chapter 1)

Week 2 (August 29): Rise of the Cold War (Moss, Chapters 2-3)
Robert James Maddox, The New Left and the Origins of the Cold War, pp. 3-11.  Review due by midnight on Sunday August 28, 2011.

Week 3 (September 5): Labor Day Holiday

Week 4 (September 12): Affluent Society (Moss, Chapters 4-5)
Shapiro book review due by midnight on Sunday September 11

Week 5 (September 19): Civil Rights Movement (Moss, Chapters 3 & 6)

Week 6 (September 26): JFK: New Frontier (Moss, Chapter 7)
Herbert S. Parmet, “The Kennedy Myth and American Politics,” The History Teacher 24 (November 1990): 31-39.  Review due by midnight on Sunday September 25, 2011.

Week 7 (October 3): LBJ: Great Society (Moss, Chapter 8)

Week 8 (October 10): Mid-term exam

Week 9 (October 17): Other Protest Movements (Moss, Chapter 9)

Week 10 (October 24): Vietnam War (Moss, Chapters 7, 8, 11, & 12)
Shanahan and Brackin book review due by midnight on Sunday October 23.

Week 11 (October 31): Decline of Liberalism (Moss, Chapters 10-11)

Week 12 (November 7): Era of Limits (Moss, Chapter 12)

Week 13 (November 14): Me Generation (Moss, Chapter 13)
Price book review due by midnight on Sunday November 13

Week 14 (November 21): Conservative Resurgence (Moss, Chapters 14-15)

Week 15 (November 28): After the Cold War (Moss, Chapters 16-18)
George C. Herring, “From the Persian Gulf War to 9/11/2001,” in William H. Chafe, et al., A History of Our Time: Readings on Postwar America, 6th ed., pp. 443-58.  Review due by midnight on Sunday November 27, 2011.

Week 16 (December 5): Final Exam 5:00-8:00

    Updated: Monday, August 8, 2011