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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2009

T C 357 • The 60s at Home and Abroad

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43835 W
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
CRD 007B

Course Description

The 1960s weren't as big a deal at the time as they have often seemed afterward. But they were eventful nonetheless. The civil rights revolution, the Great Society, the counterculture, and the emergence of new media transformed American life at home. The Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Six Day War in the Middle East, the Cultural Revolution in China, and student revolts in dozens of countries reshaped the landscape of international affairs.

Luckily for students at the University of Texas, there are few better places to study the 1960s than Austin. The LBJ Library, the Center for American History, and the Harry Ransom Center house documents and other materials that shed primary light on the decade and allow scholars to engage its issues as directly as historians ever can.

Students in this class will become their own historians. After reading and discussing a common set of books, the students will choose research topics that can be investigated at one or more of the archives on campus. Each student's research will culminate in an original paper of between 6,000 and 8,000 words, and of potentially publishable quality.

Besides attuning students to the issues and events of the 1960s, the course will allow students to decide whether they like doing original historical research. For some students, the research project will lead naturally into a senior thesis; for some of these and perhaps for some others, it will inspire them to do graduate work in history. For all the students, the course will enable them to discover—through their own experience—how the past is recreated by and for the present.

Grading Policy

Reviews of two of the three books:
Proposal, outline, introduction, half draft, full draft, final version of a major research paper


Terry Anderson, The Sixties
George Herring, America's Longest War
Paul Conkin, Big Daddy from the Pedernales

About the Professor

H. W. Brands writes about and teaches American history, broadly conceived. His books and articles cover topics from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first, and include works of narrative history, interpretive history, and biography. He examines politics and foreign policy, business and economics, society and culture. He is currently writing a general history of the United States during the Gilded Age. His classes include introductory surveys, upper-division lecture courses, and undergraduate and graduate seminars. His graduate students have written dissertations and theses on diverse aspects of American politics and foreign policy. His former students have taken jobs at research universities, at liberal arts and community colleges, in government and non-profit agencies, and in private business.


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