The Rise and Fall of American Liberalism:

United States Social

And Cultural History, 1960-1980

Fall 2012

(HIST/PS 390)

Dr. Chris Schutz

Office: Durham 203C

Phone: 746-5321


Professor Website:

Course Website:

Office Hours: MWF, 9-9:50 AM

10:55-11:45 AM

Or by appointment


Boyer, Paul. Promises to Keep: The United States Since World War II. Third Edition. Lexington, Massachusetts: D.C. Heath, 2004.

Other Required Books:

Bailey, Beth and David Farber, ed. America in the Seventies. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004.

Bloom, Alexander and Wini Breines, eds. "Takin' it to the Streets": A Sixties Reader. Third Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Howard-Pitney, David. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History & Culture). Bedford/St. Martins, 2004.

Course Description:

This course will focus on a pivotal period of American history: 1960-1980. It was a time of tremendous change beginning with President Kennedy's declaration that "we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty" around the world, and ending with the national disgrace of South Vietnam's collapse and the Iran hostage crisis. It began with high hopes of a nation that seemed so endlessly prosperous that it planned a "Great Society" and ended with a crippling gasoline shortage, rising unemployment, and skyrocketing inflation. If the 1960s was the culmination of liberalism that had emerged in the New Deal era, then the 1970s would pave the way for the conservative revolution of the 1980s and beyond. We will examine this remarkable transformation by exploring such topics as the Civil Rights Movement and many of the resulting movements for change (the Student Movement, the Counterculture, the Chicano Movement, Red Power, Black Power, the Women's movement, Gay Power, etc.), the Vietnam War and its implications for American society, the Watergate crisis, the rise of Christian fundamentalism and alternative religious movements in the 1970s, the emergence of musical forms such as Disco and Punk rock and what they say about 1970s culture, and the national "crisis of confidence" which President Carter claimed plagued the nation by the end of the 1970s.

Course Requirements:

Readings and Films: In addition to the required readings listed above, we will view several films this semester, which-- like the other written documents-- will serve as sources with which to view the times in which they were created. All readings and books may be discussed in class, and students will be graded in two ways on their mastery of these materials. You will write a short paper on the feature film Medium Cool. The paper will be a "thought piece" on your impressions based on the viewing guide and will comprise 15% of your final grade. All other films and readings will be subject to the possibility of an unannounced "pop" quiz on the day in which they are discussed in class. These quizzes, added together at the semester's end, will total 25% of your final grade.

Internet Readings: When "Internet Readings" is listed in the course schedule you should go my web page at "," click on "History Web Links," and then follow the directions listed in the Course Schedule (i.e., look for the page listed in the Course Schedule, click on it, then find the subsection listed in the Course Schedule, locate the reading listed and click on that reading). Should you have difficulty locating the course reading on the standard website, go to my older, backup website ( and find it there (that backup website can no longer be updated, but still contains many valuable links).

Precis: You will also write six precis for the course on the assigned essays from Beth Bailey and David Farber's America in the Seventies. In short, a precis is a summary of the author's main points and arguments in your own words. It defines the central issue the author addresses, explains the historical problem the author has posed, and tells how the author resolves this problem. The precis will not include your opinion of the essay and/or the author's arguments. Those opinions may be freely discussed in class, but your initial job is simply to digest the author's arguments. An intelligent personal opinion may only be successfully attained after completing that first step of understanding the points with which one disagrees. Those precis should be double-spaced typed and no more than 300 words (in Times New Roman 12 font with a one inch margin) (just short of one page). You should quote very sparingly from the source material, and quotes should not exceed more than a word or two when used.

Exams: There will be two written exams in the class. The first will be a midterm exam held in class on Monday, September 24. The second will be a cumulative final exam. Any makeups for those exams will require valid medical documentation or my explicit approval prior to the date of the exam (please note: the burden of acquiring that approval falls on the student seeking it. That is, the student simply leaving a message without having an actual conversation with me will not suffice). All makeups must be taken within one week of the original scheduled exam, or that exam grade will be subject to becoming a 0.

General rule on turning in written assignments: Because the subject of the papers will be discussed the day they are turned in, harsh penalties will accrue to papers not turned in during class time on the date due (since benefitting from the discussion would unfairly advantage authors of late papers).

Student Scholarly Integrity: Any student cheating on exams, plagiarizing on papers, or copying other students' work on assigned papers will be subject to failure in the entire course.

How to View Assigned Films: I will place the assigned films on reserve in the library. All feature films for the course will be available on two-hour reserve for use within the library (you may use one of the library's VCR/DVD machines- or, if I have placed a DVD copy for reserve- perhaps on your own laptop computer). Those two-hour, in-library copies are not to be removed from the college library at any time to ensure that one copy will always be available for your peer students. All my copies of these films, of course, should be returned in a timely fashion according to their restrictions. Indeed, I urge you to return the 24-hour copies to the library as rapidly as possible (i.e., not to use all 24 hours if possible) to be courteous to students following you eager to get the films. You may also have access to these films from online services, video stores, etc. You are welcome to acquire the films in those ways as well. Please note, however: be certain you have the exact title and year of the film (seeing a remake of the film will not suffice). Furthermore, viewing these films outside of class time on your own schedule remains your responsibility. I cannot accept the excuse that you wanted to acquire a film but could not because it was checked out. You simply must allow yourself sufficient time to gain access to the film well before its due date.

A Note About Film Content: Please be aware that the films we will see this semester contain adult situations, salty language, sexual content, and/or violence (we will be viewing some, for example, which bear the MPAA rating of "R"). Our purpose, of course, will be to neither condone nor defend such content, but to analyze the films which may, at times, be disconcerting, and to simply accept that content as a necessary aspect of artistic and academic freedom. Indeed, there are certain genres of film and time periods where I can find virtually no significant films which would not include material that some viewers would find objectionable. Since we simply must cover those genres and time periods adequately to complete the course, I urge you to drop the course now if such content might upset you. I will not be able to excuse you from seeing required films during the semester.

Class Participation: This will be a vital part of our class time together, and discussions will occur frequently throughout the semester. As such, it (together with your attendance) will comprise 15% of your course grade. While I expect some students to be better suited than others to class participation (i.e., more vocal and assertive in public speaking), all students are expected to participate to some extent during the course, or suffer in this portion of their grade.

Attendance: I will take roll daily, and up to three unexcused (i.e., without documentation from a doctor) absences will suffer no penalties. Roll will be taken at the beginning of class. It is the responsibility of any late student to inform me of your presence in class immediately after class is completed. After that time has passed, you will remain marked as "absent." Over three absences may result in penalties in the 15% of your class participation and attendance grade. While I will make an effort to repeat any announcements of upcoming assignments or exams, it remains the responsibility of anyone who misses class for catching up on any missed material-- including the announcement of any dates (or date changes) in upcoming assignments. Be aware also that, since discussion is a critical part of your grade, missing class may also gradually damage your grade in that area as well (even without exceeding the allotted unexcused absences). Please note: Being present means just that- being present to what is going on in this class. Students asleep, doing work for another class, text messaging, or doing anything else other than what pertains to this class means being absent (and will count as such in my record), and will not be tolerated. Cell phones should be put carefully away during classtime.

Paper Assignments: You will write one assigned paper on the film Medium Cool for this class. The paper will require you to bring to bear lecture material, and primary and secondary sources on the film, analyzing the film's message, context, and intent. Both papers should be 4-7 pages, typewritten double-spaced. If you use ideas from my lecture material, you may depart from the more formal citation style expected of outside sources and simply parenthetically note following the appropriate passage: "(Schutz, [date of lecture])." To cite any of the sources you will be assigned for analyzing the films you may follow a similar format as the lectures (for example: "(Boyer, 256)," "(Whyte, 132)," etc). Should you decide to include any outside sources beyond your assigned reading (not a necessary part of doing a successful job), you should, of course, fully cite those sources (using the Chicago Manual of Style), or risk the serious charge of plagiarism.

Student Athletes: Because the purpose of permitting only three unexcused absences is to prevent the student from falling behind and suffering academically, student athletes who miss class due to athletic events will be limited in their allowed unexcused absences. Should you miss three (or more) classes due to athletics, then you may not take any unexcused absences in addition to that (if you have two athletic absences you may take one unexcused absence; if you have one athletic absences, you may take two unexcused absences). Exceeding this agreement will damage your attendance and participation grade. Student athletes who miss more than three classes due to athletic events (and have no unexcused absences), of course, will not be penalized; but, student athletes should be especially mindful of the burden such escalating absences will create for their academic performance (and, should thus be particularly vigilant to keep track of assignments, be sure to quickly get good notes from a classmate, etc.). Should an athletic event ever conflict with a mandatory discussion or exam date, you should come see me at least a week in advance to make alternate arrangements.

Course Grade Distribution: Course Grade Scale:

Attendance and Class Participation: 15% A: 92-100/ A- : 90-91

Midterm Exam: 15% B+: 88-89/ B: 82-87/ B- : 80-81

Final Exam: 15% C+: 78-79/ C: 72-77/ C-: 70-71

Film Paper on "Medium Cool": 15% D+: 68-69/ D: 62-67/ D-: 60-61

Precis: 15% F: 0-59

Pop Quizzes: 25%

Course Schedule

NOTE: All dates are subject to change as course needs dictate, and will be announced in class by instructor. The following dates are given to highlight reading and other class assignments. However, classes will always meet with or without an assignment scheduled.

Important Note: Should inclement weather or other problems force the cancellation of class, you should presume that whatever was scheduled to occur on the cancelled date will now be held on the next available class meeting.


Most class days have readings attached to them that students are expected to have completed, designated by a due date for completion and followed by names of the documents.

"BB" designates readings due from Alexander Bloom & Wini Breines, "Takin' It to the Streets": A Sixties Reader.

"R" designates reserve readings located at the library which are due.

"INT" designates readings which may be found on the internet.

"TXT" designates your textbook by Paul Boyer

"BF" designates Bailey & Farber's America in the Seventies

Let Freedom Ring! Antecedents of the 1960s & An American Camelot [8/17-8/24]

Early Civil Rights stirrings, Brown v. Board of Education decision, Montgomery, Little Rock, Kennedy and the Cold War

Cultural change: Beat generation, Rock n' Roll

Post-war economic prosperity and the Kennedy mystique

Fri., 8/17 > Handout assignment: "Did the Great Society Fail?"

Mon., 8/20 > Textbook assignment: pp.132-158

Wed., 8/22 > Internet Reading: "JFK Inaugural Address" [located at the "1960s Politics" subsection of the "U.S. History 1960-80" web links page]

Fri., 8/24 > Textbook: pp.164-183

We Shall Overcome: The Rise of the Civil Rights Movement [8/27-8/31]

Formation of SNCC, Freedom Rides, Birmingham, Selma

Mon., 8/27 > BB: "The Power of Nonviolence"; "The Jackson Sit-In"; SNCC Founding Statement (pp.14-21)

Wed., 8/29 > BB: James Farmer and John Lewis, "The Freedom Rides," "Wake Up America," "Letters from Mississippi"; Fannie Lou Hamer and Rita Schwerner, "Testimony before the Democratic Convention" (pp.21-37)

Reinvigorating the "Other America": The Great Society [9/5-9/7]

Wed., 9/5 > R: Michael Harrington, "The Other America"

Fri., 9/7 > Textbook: pp.185-212

A New Education: The Student Movement and the Counterculture [9/10-9/14]

the "New Left," Berkeley Free Speech Movement, SDS, Campus Rebellions, Summer of Love, Woodstock

Mon., 9/10 > BB: "The Port Huron Statement" (pp.50-61); Textbook: pp.252-261

Wed., 9/12 > BB: Michael Rossman, "The Wedding Within the War"; Mario Savio, "An End to History"; "To the Students of Political Science 113" (pp. 86-98); Gregory Calvert, "In White America, Radical Consciousness and Social Change" (pp.99-104)

Fri., 9/14 > BB: "The Evolving Views of Bob Dylan"; "Gene Moskowitz and Roger Ebert, "Easy Rider"; Guy Strait, "What is a Hippie?"; Helen Swick Perry, "The Human Be-In"; "The Digger Papers"; "Yippie Manifesto"; Jerry Rubin, "Do It" (pp.231-234, 247-249, 269-283)

"Say It Loud, Say It Proud": Black Power [9/17-9/21]

Mon., 9/17 > Textbook: pp.244-252; BB: McCone Commission on Watts, "Violence in the City-- An End or a Beginning?" & Paul Bullock, "Watts: The Aftermath" (pp.112-120)

Wed., 9/19 > Mandatory Discussion Date: David Howard-Pitney. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s

Fri., 9/21 > BB: "The Basis of Black Power"; The Black Panther Platform: "What We Want, What We Believe"; "Police and the Panthers" (pp.120-126, 131-136)

Monday, September 24: Midterm Exam

Ethnic power & Identity Politics movements [9/26- 9/28]

Chicano movement, Yellow power, Red Power, Gay rights

Wed., 9/26 > BB: Armando Rendon, "Chicano Manifesto"; "El Plan de Aztlán";; (pp.136-142)/ Textbook: pp.235-236

Fri., 9/28 > BB: Amy Uyematsu, "The Emergence of Yellow Power"; "The Alcatraz Proclamation to the Great White Father and His People"; "AIM Statement on Wounded Knee"; National Indian Youth Council statement; Lucian Truscott, "Gay Power Comes to Sheridan Square" (pp.146-151, 496-499) / R: "The New Indian Wars"; "Birth of AIM"; Vito Russo, "The Film Historian"; Randy Shilts, "The Idealist"

It's the End of the World as We Know It: 1968 [10/1-10/3]

Assassinations, "law and order" concerns, urban riots, leftist and black militants, a pivotal presidential campaign

Mon., 10/1 > BB: Jeremy Larner, "The McCarthy Campaign"; Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson, Bruce Page, "I Shall Not Seek, and I Will Not Accept" & "This Will Mean a Thousand Detroits"; Robert Kennedy, "To Tame the Savageness of Man"; Eldridge Cleaver, "Requiem for Nonviolence"; "The Kerner Report" (354-371)

Wed., 10/3 > BB: Jeremy Larner, "The Chicago Democratic Convention"; The Walker Commission, "Rights in Conflict"; George Wallace (371-381, 298-304)

"There Ain't No Time to Wonder Why...": the Vietnam War [10/5- 10/10]

America's "Longest War": and the Anti-War Movement

Fri., 10/5 >BB: "Vietnamese Delcaration of Independence"; "John F. Kennedy and the 'Domino Theory'"; "Tonkin Gulf Resolution"; "McGeorge Bundy and 'Sustained Reprisal'"; John T. McNaughton, "Plan for Action for South Vietnam"; "George Ball and the Internal Opposition"; "Lyndon Johnson on Why Fight in Vietnam" (pp.154-156, 159, 162-167)

Monday, 10/8 > Paper Due & Mandatory Film Discussion: "Medium Cool"

Wed., 10/10 > Textbook: pp.277-288 / BB: "One Soldier's View: Vietnam Letters"; "My Lai"; Paul Potter, "The Incredible War"; Martin Luther King, Jr., "Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam"; "Army Times"; "The Fort Hood Three"; John Kerry, "Vietnam Veterans Against the War"; "One Vet Remembers" (pp.167-176, 182-187, 194-199, 212-215, 217-224)

States of Siege: America Under the Nixon Administration [10/15-10/26]

A Crackdown on Unrest: COINTELPRO, Attica, Wounded Knee, Kent State, Jackson State

The Watergate Scandal

Mon., 10/15 > BB: "'Love It or Leave It': The Conservative Impulse in a Radical Age"; "The Sharon Statement"; "Barry Goldwater, "1964 Acceptance Speech"; "Richard Nixon, "If Mob Rule Takes Hold in the U.S."; Ronald Reagan, "Freedom vs. Anarchy on Campus" (pp. 286-298); "Edwin Willis, "Communist Infiltration"; Spiro Agnew, "Impudence in the Streets" (pp.307-312)

Wed., 10/17 > BB: COINTELPRO (pp.316-323); "Bring the War Home" (pp.385-388); Julius Lester, "To Recapture the Dream" (pp.528-532) / R: Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party; Attica Prison Riot; Spiro Agnew, "The Root Causes of Attica"

Wed., 10/24 > INT: "Smoking Gun Conversation," "Nixon Administration Plumbers Unit Document," and "The 'Huston Plan'" [located in "Watergate" subsection of U.S. History 1960-1980" links page]

Fri., 10/26 > INT: "Nixon's Presidential Resignation Speech" " [located in "Watergate" subsection of U.S. History 1960-1980" links page]

"Elvis is Dead and I Don't Feel So Good Myself": Americans Turn Inward


Ford's short term

Carter's attempt to right the ship

Erosion of American Economic Might and Environmentalism

From social activism for social change to more personal issues

A turn to spirituality in a variety of forms: Cults, East Asian religious traditions and Communes, Therapy and "finding yourself," 12 Step Groups, Rise of Christian Fundamentalism

Women's Movement and Gender Change

Mon., 10/29 > Textbook: pp.353-357 / BF: chap.2 (Precis due)

Wed., 10/31 > BF: chap.1 (Precis due)

Mon., 11/5 > BF: chap.7 (Precis due) / R: "Personality Cults: Jonestown"; "Radical Left: Neopaganism and New Age"; Christopher Lasch, "Culture of Narcissism" / INT: President Jimmy Carter's famous 'Crisis of Confidence' Speech [located in the "1970s Politics" subsection of the "U.S. History 1960-1980" links page]

Wed., 11/7 > R: Bradford Martin, "Cultural Politics and the Singer/Songwriters of the 1970s" / INT: Jackson Browne: "Before the Deluge" and "Late for the Sky"; [located in the "1970s Music" subsection of the "U.S. History 1960-1980" links page]

Fri., 11/9 > BF: chap.4 (Precis due) / INT: Bruce Springsteen: "Born to Run," "Jungleland," and "The River" [located in the "1970s Music" subsection of the "U.S. History 1960-1980" links page]

Mon., 11/12 > BF: chap.5 (Precis due) / BB: Betty Friedan, "The Problem That Has No Name"; "NOW Bill of Rights"; Gloria Steinem, "What It Would Be Like If Women Win"; "No More Miss America"; "Double Jeopardy, To Be Black and Female" (pp.393-399, 403-411, 442-446) / Textbook: pp.331-335

Wednesday, 11/14 > Mandatory Film Discussion Date: "Network"

Fri., 11/16 > BF: chap.3 (Precis due) INT: Neil Young: "Alabama" and "Southern Man"; Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Sweet Home Alabama" [located in the "1970s Music" subsection of the "U.S. History 1960-1980" links page]

Morning in America?: the Rise of Conservatism and the 1980 Election [11/19-11/29]

Divisive Social Issues: Busing and Affirmative Action

1980 Election: Iran hostage crisis, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Ted Kennedy

message of American Exceptionalism, economic recovery (but at a cost?), Cold War reheating

Mon., 11/19 > Textbook: pp.367-377 / R: Reserve Readings

Wed., 11/28 > TXT: 384-391/ R: Reserve Readings

Film Viewing Guide

"Medium Cool" (1969)

Director: Haskell Wexler

[Paper Due: Monday, 10/8/12]

Paper Topic:

In this most unusual film, Wexler weaves actual documentary footage of the activities in 1968 America with his fictional storyline of a television cameraman. In this contentious period of American history, what social issues of the era does Wexler dramatize to his audience? How does Wexler view the state of America in the summer of 1968? (Be sure to make connections to the historical background in which the film is being made.) What point is Wexler trying to make to his audience about the place of common Americans in the midst of this strife?

Issues/Events/Themes to Pay Attention to:

Why does Wexler open the film in the way that he does? Might we interpret that scene as a metaphor for something larger (particularly about the state of the national social climate)?

Why does Wexler follow that scene with the conversation at the party? Is this simply an exercise in exposing the film audience to the issues confronted by camera and sound operators? Are issues expressed there which will become pivotal issues for the film's characters?

Shortly after that scene is Wexler's footage of the National Guard training. What is that like? How do National Guard troops view student and Black Power protestors? How can we see that view reflected in the training's inclusion of mock student activists and how they behave? Do others in the film have obvious presuppositions about other groups? What kind of climate might such a view by the National Guard of the student activists have built as the Chicago Democratic Convention approached?

What role do the homing pigeons play in the film?

Is the character of the African American cabbie facing a similar dilemma as John Cassellis (the lead character/cameraman)? What is the problem confronted by the taxi driver-- both immediate and longer-term? Is Wexler using the cabbie character to once again force the audience to consider their role in society? How so?

What is the meaning of the final shot of the film? Is Wexler ultimately trying to push his audience in a certain direction? What might that be, and does it represent a critical concept of reform espoused by a certain group of Americans in the 1960s?

Medium Cool Paper Assignment

Paper Structure:

4-6 pages long

double-spaced typewritten

using Times New Roman 12 point font

a surrounding one inch margin


All ideas contained in your papers that are not your own original ideas must carry a citation, or risk the serious charge of plagiarism.

Given the nature of this assignment, I am allowing an informal citation system (listed below) for citations dealing with the "common sources" (i.e., the sources that are already assigned to everyone in the class: the film itself, and any lectures and assigned readings attached to this course) for this paper. Any sources that are not "common sources" must be fully cited according to the Chicago Manual of Style (For your convenience, an abbreviated guide to that manual appears on the course website. Should you be using a non-common source that has a profile not listed in that abbreviated guide, you may find the full version of the Chicago Manual of Style in the library).

"Common Source" Citations:

For Lectures: Simply parenthetically note following the appropriate passage: "(Schutz, [date of lecture]) > e.g., All twinkies are a delicious source of vital nutrients (Schutz, 10/6/08).

For Assigned Course Readings: Parenthetically note the author(s)' last name and the page number: e.g., (Boyer, 252).

The film need not be explicitly cited unless it is unclear that is where you are getting the information (i.e., discussing the actions of Casellis would be obviously drawn from the film itself).

What to Avoid on Papers:

Do not simply recount the plot of this film in your paper. I will presume you have seen the film (as I have) and done the readings as a simple necessary first step to composing your paper. Your job will be analysis-- which will include your own thoughts. Hence, you should cite scenes and dialogue from the film and text from the readings essentially only as examples to support your analysis-- not as the fundamental skeleton of your paper.

Avoid any lengthy quotes (more than a simple phrase). This will only shield me from seeing that you have properly digested the material and can present the ideas in your interpreted words.

Writing a Precis

Every historical study makes an argument. It doesn't just tell you about a subject, it poses a historical question or problem and then attempts to resolve this problem. Your precis should be a very precise summary of the author's argument in the assigned article. It defines the central

issue the author addresses, explains the historical problem the author has posed, and tells how the author resolves this problem. Ask yourself whether the author is arguing against something else which s/he believes to be wrong-headed- another author's previous argument about this topic,

a common popular perception about this issue, etc.

Both precision and conciseness are important here. In approaching the article in question, you should first try to identify the overall theme of the article in a single sentence. Then build the author's supporting arguments and the evidence s/he brings to bear to that argument(s). Furthermore, note whether s/he is arguing against something else.

Hone the argument until you are certain that you have identified the key points the author wishes to make. Try to be as accurate and impartial as possible in summing up the author's argument. The thesis statement should not include your opinion of the book. There will be plenty of time to express that during class time; and, such opinions must first be grounded in a demonstrable understanding of the author's arguments that you are critiquing.

It is essential that your precis show the logical connection between the authors' ideas. It should not simply string together a series of descriptive sentences. You must write an organized essay that follows and explains the authors' arguments and the reasoning behind them. Your precis should be carefully organized both thematically and grammatically. Sloppy and careless work will certainly be penalized. Your precis should be no more than 250 words.

Be sure to use your own words. Quotations of more than a word or two or a very short phrase, are not acceptable.