America is Hard to Find
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: University-wide Programs
Department: University Lecture Program
Course Number: ULEC 2400
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • History
  • Politics
  • Social Justice
Americans are supremely convinced of their nation’s special promise, but also anxious, throughout history, that that promise is being squandered or unfulfilled. And they have bitterly disagreed over the nature of that promise -- over what America is and should be. This course offers a theme-based engagement of post-World War Two American history that seeks to make more navigable the great national conflicts of our day: those over war and peace; the balance of civil liberty and security; the status of America in the world; the meaning of pluralism; and the purpose and scope of government. We will explore the complexity of the defining events, figures, and debates of the recent past, focusing on the origins and evolution of the Cold War; anticommunism and the counter-subversive tradition; the African American freedom struggle; the Vietnam War and opposition to it; New Left student and youth movements; New Right conservatism; the politics of globalization, and recent assertions of military power. The course consists of a weekly lecture and intimate discussion sessions. The readings are challenging and substantial, but enjoyable. We will listen to music, analyze films and images, read a graphic novel, and immerse ourselves in dialogue with the past.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Students must register for both the lecture and discussion section of this course.


Open to Undergraduate students.