History 12: Political and Social History of the U.S., part 2
- An Outline of U.S. History, by the U.S. Department of State (ISBN-13: 978-1482546781)
- A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn (ISBN 978-0-06-196558-6)
- A History of the American People, by Paul Johnson (ISBN 978-0-06-093034-9)
Book #1 is a brief book covering the basics of the history, and any material inside is fair game for test questions. It's available online; just click the link above. You can view it there or (and this is what I recommend) download it as a pdf file (or kindle or epub if you use those files). We WILL be regularly discussing this book in class, so you'll want to either bring a tablet/laptop that lets you look at them, print out the sections we'll be going over, or buy a paper copy. The bookstore does NOT have copies of this book, but you may click HERE to purchase it from Amazon for about $15 if you want a paper copy. (Note: Amazon also sells an older version of this book; either use the link or, if you do an Amazon search, check the ISBN number.)
Books 2 & 3 are perhaps not what you're used to thinking of as history textbooks. Most textbooks try to take a "just the facts" approach. These authors each have a point of view, a thesis, an idea about American history they want to share. They will use "facts" to prove their points--LOTS of facts--but I will NOT expect you to memorize any or all of the facts from these books; instead, I will assign compare and contrast questions (for homework and on tests) asking you to summarize what the authors are saying. You'll undoubtedly want to refer to some of the facts they mention in your essays, but which facts you believe show their ideas best will vary from student to student. We will talk about all this in class. Both books 2 & 3 are available at the bookstore. Neither costs more than $25. You may also use online versions of them. The links above will let you download pdf versions of each book.
If you send me an email, please make sure you tell me your section number and your full name in the "subject" field. Otherwise, it's difficult to answer your questions correctly.
Paper Instructions and Timeline
Possible Paper Topics
- Click on the appropriate Homework Questions/Lecture Outlines link below and look at the top of that page to see the pages assigned. Then, before you read, look over the homework questions carefully. Only then read.
- DON’T read the way you've probably learned to read for prior history classes.
- DON'T think you need to remember all the stuff in the textbooks. You can't.
- The homework questions are a good guide to what you should learn.
- Beyond the homework, you should come to class with the major ideas from the Outline book fresh in your head; I'll ask people about these at random:
- Read the Outline assignment carefully, one section at a time. After each section, think: What is the main point this section is making? How does it enhance understanding of/impact the story of the big-picture history? Why did this it happen?
- Write down your answers. You don't need to write a lot, but you'll certainly need a few sentences so you can explain these things in class when I ask you.
- It's a VERY good idea to show up at class a few minutes early and review your notes.
- Email me your homework answers BEFORE the start of the class in which those topics are discussed. I will let you know what's coming due in each class. If you miss class, contact another student to see what's due.
- Turn things in on time. I don’t accept late assignments.
- Type (or cut & paste) the assignment into the body of the email. Don’t send it as an attachment.
- The homework questions are numbered; please number your answers the same way.
- Make the subject line read “section#, lastname, firstname, homework number
- Not following these instructions will result in your receiving half-credit for the assignment.
Homework Questions/Lecture Outlines/Study Guides
Material for Test 1
HW 1: Post-Civil War America
HW 2: The Industrial Revolution
HW 3: The Gilded Age
Material for Test 2
HW 4: The Progressive Era
HW 5: American Imperialism
HW 6: WWI
HW 7: The Roaring 20s
HW 8: Great Depression/The New Deal Era
Material for Test 3
HW 9: WWII
HW 10: Cold War Origins
HW 11: The Early Cold War Years
HW12: The Long 1960s
HW 13: The Reagan Revolution & End of the Cold War