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Wherein you will find posts with humor, photos, reviews, occasional rants and journalistic entries of interest to me alone but that I hope will touch you, the reader, in some way. I remain sincerely yours,
A Work in Progress

Monday, May 2, 2011

Contemporary History through Books and Film

The Great War through the Present, Modern History through Books and Film
10th Grade     Modern US History
Goals for this course: 
To have not only an understanding of the history of the time periods under study but through books and film, to get a feel for the mind sets, attitudes, fears, joys and concerns of daily life as well as certain specific events.  Not only that it was experienced but how it felt to be alive during the time studied.  So while some of these movies may not be historically accurate per se, I have chosen them because they represent how people felt, dressed, spoke and behaved etc.

Links and books in purple are ones for me to read to add to the discussion.
Links in green are recommended reference material 
(this syllabus remains a work in progress, feel free to please suggest resources, especially for the 1990's and 2000's)

Summer Reading prior to course:
Oxford History of the US, Grand Expectations, 1945-1974, James Patterson 829 pgs
Oxford History of the US, Restless Giant, James Patterson 496 pgs

World War I
SparkNotes WWI
World War I, Richard Maybury 252 pgs
America's First World War, Henry Castor 174pp
Letters from Rifka, Karen Hesse 148 pp
The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman 544pgs
Poem: In Flanders Fields
Woodrow Wilson, Speech on the Fourteen Points, Jan 8, 1918

The Sinking of the Lusitania
The First World War, The Complete Series 10 episodes
World War I in Color (6 episodes)
All Quiet on the Western Front
Sergeant York
Lawrence of Arabia

Post WWI
SparkNotes Russian RevolutionRead:
Animal Farm 128 pgs
SparkNotes: Animal Farm
History of the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky 1040 pgs
Ten Days that Shook the World, John Reed 368 pgs

Russian Revolution in Color 94 minutes
Italian Fascism in Color 100 minutes
Reds 194 minutes (?)

1920's - 1930's
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald 180 pgs
SparksNotes for Gatsby
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
SparkNotes: Grapes of Wrath

Inherit the Wind
Chariots of Fire
The Grapes of Wrath
Of Mice and Men
The Hindenburg disaster took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937
 The Hindenberg
Oct. 30, 1938 Orson Welles radio show panics America
The War of the Worlds Scandal
Public Enemies
The Education of Little Tree
American Experience: Hurricane of "38"

World War II
World War II, Richard Maybury 349 pgs
The Rise and Fall of Adolph Hitler, William Shirer 179 pgs
The Second World War, Winston Churchill 384 pgs
The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom 221 pgs
Sparknotes: WWII
Churchill, The Gathering Storm
Hitler: The Rise of Evil
World at War 26 hours
World War II in HD 10 episodes
September 10, 1939 - Canada declares war on Germany; Battle of the Atlantic begins.
Battle of the Atlantic
Das Boot
May 27, 1941 - Sinking of the Bismarck by the British Navy. 
Sink the Bismark
August 20, 1941 - Nazi siege of Leningrad begins. 
September 3, 1941 - First experimental use of gas chambers at Auschwitz. 
Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State (?) 6 episodes
December 7, 1941 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor;
Tora! Tora! Tora!
The Thin Red Line
April 10, 1942Bataan Death March

September 13, 1942 - Battle of Stalingrad begins. 
Enemy at the Gates
June 6, 1944 - D-Day landings on the northern coast of France.
The Longest Day
December 16-27 1944- Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes.
Battle of the Bulge
Truman: American Experience
August 6, 1945 - First atomic bomb dropped, on Hiroshima, Japan. 
Hiroshima: BBC History of WWII 89 minutes
November 20, 1945 - Nuremberg war crimes trials begin.
Judgement at Nuremberg

Read: Kon Tiki 272 pgs and watch on YouTube 58 minutes
On the Road, Jack Kerouac 304 pgs
SparkNotes On the Road
Small Steps, the Year I Got Polio, Peg Kehret
SparkNotes: The Cold War
The polio vaccine was made public in April, 1955
A Paralyzing Fear
The Legend of Pancho Barnes
Modern Marvels: Mount Rushmore
CNN: Cold War (CLAMS link)
The Atomic Cafe/The Day After
Trinity and Beyond
China: A Century of Revolution
Berlin Airlift: American Experience

Korean War

30 Jun 50 - President Truman orders ground forces into Korea and authorizes Air Force to bomb North Korea
27 Jul 53 - Cease fire signed - fighting ends 12 hours later 
The Coldest Winter, David Halberstam 719 pgs
Sparknotes: The Korean War
MASH (?)
Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War
Korea, The Forgotten War
Korean War in Color

1950's and 1960's
Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger 288 pgs
SparkNotes: Catcher in the Rye
A 1960's Childhood, from Thunderbirds to Beetlemania, Paul Feeney

The Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam
A Bright Shining Lie, Neil Sheehan

Rebel without a Cause
February 3rd, 1959 The Day the Music Died.
La Bamba
October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
Thirteen Days
American Graffiti summer of 1962
CliffNotes: Kennedy Years
Vietnam War (1955-1973)
Path to War

Go Tell the Spartans
We Were Soldiers
Good Morning Vietnam
1964 Civil Rights Act
 SparkNotes: Civil Rights Era
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Malcolm X
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
1962 Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
Forest Gump
June 1967 Six Day War
Six Days in June

“Major trends in the 70s included a growing disillusionment of government, advances in civil rights, increased influence of the women’s movement, a heightened concern for the environment, and increased space exploration. Many of the “radical” ideas of the 60’s gained wider acceptance in the new decade, and were mainstreamed into American life and culture. Amid war, social realignment and presidential impeachment proceedings, American culture flourished. Indeed, the events of the times were reflected in and became the inspiration for much of the music, literature, entertainment, and even fashion of the decade. ”
Copyright © 1999 [Kingwood College Library]

When the White House was Ours, Porter Shreve 280 pgs
River of Time, John Swain 304 pgs
Fire in the Valley, Michael Swaine 463 pgs

April 11, 1970
Apollo 13
1973 Abortion Legalized in US
Roe Vs. Wade
1973 Paris Peace Accords
Missing in Action 
April 1975 Pol Pot Becomes the Communist Dictator of Cambodia, Khmer Rouge
The Killing Fields
May 17 to August 7, 1973 Watergate Hearings
All the Presidents Men

1976 Cultural references
Dazed and Confused
July 3rd, 1976 Palestinian terrorists hijack plane
Raid on Entebbe
Apartheid/Steven Biko 1970's
Cry Freedom
1972 Terrorists Attack at the Olympic Games in Munich
American Experience: Jimmy Carter
1975 Microsoft Founded
Pirates of Silicon Valley
1976 Olympics Nadia Comenici gets 7 perfect 10's in gymnastics
Nadia (because I was riveted to my tv and went around my neighborhood collecting newspapers and magazine, anything that had her in it)
1977 Disco Reigns 
Saturday Night Fever (pg version)
The Bronx is Burning (?)
November 4, 1979, a group of radical Islamic students swarmed into the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking its staff hostage and demanding that the American government return the Shah of Iran. 444 days later the students went home, having failed to produce the Shah (he had died), but having succeeded in unleashing a geopolitical disturbance which wreaked havoc on the American psyche and brought ruin to then President Jimmy Carter's term in office. 

444 Days to Freedom

And the Band Played On , Randy Shilts  621 pgs

Delta Force based on 1985 TWA hijacking  and Delta Force 2 about the drug wars
American Experience: Reagan
Red Dawn 1984
And the Band Played On  The Aids Epidemic
The Breakfast Club
After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.
The Wall: A World Divided
June 1989 Tiananmen Square
Tankman, Frontline
Timeline of America's Drug wars
American Drug War, the Last White Hope

How Weed Won  the West
Frontline: The Meth Epidemic

Microserfs, Douglas Copeland (?)

Gulf War 1990
Live from Baghdad
Bravo Two Zero
Desert Triumph
21 Days to Baghdad
Charlie Wilson's War
FBI Vs. Branch Davidians
Storm of the Century
The Perfect Storm, Rescues
The Special Relationship: Blair/Clinton
Ghosts of Rwanda and/or Hotel Rwanda
Oklahoma City Bombing
Bang Bang You're Dead (Columbine)
Sierra Leone Civil War 1996-1999
Blood Diamond


Empire Falls, Richard Russo

President George W. Bush: "History's Unmarked Grave of Discarded Lies" Speech to Joint Session of Congress, September 21, 2001
Timeline, War on Terror
2001, 9/11
7 Days in September
United 93
Operation Enduring Freedom
Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
Columbia: Space Shuttle Disaster
Invasion of Iraq
Inside Shock and Awe
Facebook launches
The Social Network
Hurricane Katrina
The Storm that Drowned a City
Barak Obama elected
The Obama Deception
Deepwater Horizon incident
Frontline: The Spill


Lizzie May 2, 2011 at 6:13 PM  

the formatting issues are going to make me insane but it is looking pretty good content-wise.

Terri May 2, 2011 at 8:26 PM  

Lizzie: Thanks for this fabulous list! We just got the movie study guide for Flyboys(WW1) from Zeezok. My boys picked it out. I'll let you know how it is.

Ellen May 3, 2011 at 8:23 AM  

This is great! We worked through US History this year by studying hte presidents and their years in office. (what was happening, movies, literature, daily life, the arts, etc.) I love the movie links! ~ Ellen

Anonymous,  May 3, 2011 at 3:47 PM  

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

pamela May 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM  

This looks awesome! Ds 14.5 (rising 9th) loathes school and always has and I am struggling to put together a HS plan that he can own. I asked him recently if he could do school ANY way he wanted, what would that look like. His reply...on TV. It is amazing what he picks up from the History Channel, Discovery, Mythbusters, etc., and he would LOVE it if I followed your plan next year. He does like to read, so adding in the historical fiction and other non-fiction might not be such a problem. Getting him to turn out some product from it (i.e., essays, tests, etc) will be another issue altogether.

Thanks for a wonderful resource! Any chance you could duplicate this for 1800-The Great War? LOL!

Have a blessed day,
Pamela F. in VA

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