At the Gates of Eden: A Postwar History of the American Dream (1945-1980)
בשערי גן עדן: היסטורית החלום האמריקני אחרי מלחמת העולם השניה
American Studies Advanced Course קורס בחירה במסלול לימודים אמריקניים
This course sets out to explore the postwar American experience (1945-1980) and to investigate the fate of the ‘American Dream’ that this period came to define. The central goal will be to trace the immense potential for achieving transformative political, racial, socioeconomic and cultural change that was so prevalent in the wake of the Second World War, and evaluate the manner in which it did – or did not – end up transforming America. The readings couple key primary sources and secondary historical and social scientific studies, with salient works of literature, music, cinema and art. Among the central questions that we will be asking: What is the legacy of the New Deal and Great Society? What were the causes – and consequences – of the Civil Rights, Counterculture and Feminist movements? How did the Cold War and Vietnam impact them? How did American capitalism evolve over the years? And what is it about this tumultuous period that can help us better understand contemporary American society?