Do you think the US response to the Soviet Union and the hunt for internal communist subversives were based upon real threats, or the product of unnecessary paranoia?

Question 1

Before you beginning this discussion, be sure to read the Module Notes, Chapter 25: “The Cold War” in The American Yawp. In addition, read the primary source documents: Truman Doctrine,  Marshall Plan, “Enemies from Within,” “They Want to Muzzle the Truth,” “Sometime Soon…The Free Nations Must Make Their Choice,” and “We Must Keep the Labor Unions Clean,” and view the videos: Atomic AlertDuck and Cover, and We Must Not Confuse Dissent with Disloyalty.

Using the primary and secondary source materials above as evidence, consider the following in a post of at least 270 words:

  • How did the early Cold War affect Americans’ perceptions of their country’s place in the world? How did this differ from the US’s role in the world during the 1930s and 1940s?
  • Do you think the US response to the Soviet Union and the hunt for internal communist subversives were based upon real threats, or the product of unnecessary paranoia?

Question 2

Before you participate in this discussion, be sure to read the Module Notes, Chapter 26: “The Affluent Society” in The American Yawp and watch the following videos: Our Changing Family LifeA Word to the Wives, and Housewife Prepares a Family Breakfast During 1950s.

When these films were made they had specific purposes. But even today we can watch them and learn much about the 1950s. Look closely at the people, the way they portray social interactions, what they wear, and the objects they use.

Using the videos and other materials above as evidence, consider the following in a post of at least 270 words:

  • Why do you think the films were originally made?
  • What can they tell us about gender roles and the emphasis on consumerism in the 1950s?
  • Who might have been left out of the middle-class consumer-oriented lifestyle portrayed in the films? Why?

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