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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Spring 2005

AMS 370 • The Cold War and American Childhood-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
27220 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
GAR 111

Course Description

In this writing-intensive course we will attempt to understand the political and cultural climate and the social relationships characteristic of the Cold War in the United States. To do so, we will consider the connections between political and familial values. Ideas about children and families served as lightning rods for Cold War ideology, fears and hopes. These, in turn, found expression in discourses around children, childhood and childishness; in ideas about families, parenthood and child rearing; and in the cultural milieu of children themselves between 1945 and 1965. Children served as “a barometer of American life” in postwar America. They, and their relationship to adults, embodied larger contradictions, anxieties and hopes in this era of national prosperity and anxiety, of witch hunts and family-centered television sit-coms, of juvenile delinquents and the Mickey Mouse Club, of political “consensus” and deep divisions, of atomic bombs and atomic-submarine drinking cups, of “triumphalist despair.”


William Tuttle, Daddy’s Gone to War: America’s Children During the Second World War Tom Engelhardt, The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era Bradford Wright, Comic Book Nation: the Transformation of Youth Culture in America Brown v. Board of Education: A History With Documents Sally Belfrage, Un-American Activities: A Memoir of the Fifties William Graebner, Coming of Age in Buffalo Madeline L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time E.L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel Films (in clips or outside of class): Them!; Red Nightmare; Duck and Cover; The Boy with the Green Hair; Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier; South Pacific; Blackboard Jungle


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