Zachary Schrag's Syllabus
From The Mason Historiographiki
These instructions are specific to students in Zachary Schrag's directed readings courses. The course will meets five or six times during the semester, depending on the topics selected. Meetings run about 90 minutes to two hours.
Although the main purpose of a directed-readings course is to prepare the student for a written or oral comprehensive exam, it remains a letter-graded course in its own right, with its own requirements.
Prior to each meeting, each doctoral student will read three books. One will be a text we all read in common, the others will be books you and I choose to meet your particular needs and interests. Each topic page on the Historiographiki lists books on the topic, and I have posted general advice on Choosing books. But please let me know your particular interests, so that I can suggest titles, approve titles you come up with, and coordinate your readings with your classmates'.
You are not expected to read every word of every book, but to read enough to understand the argument and its factual underpinnings, and to write a thorough critique.
For each book, each student will post a response to the Historiographiki. If no page exists for that book, add one by adding a link to the topic page. If a blank page exists, fill it, following the instructions on Adding a book entry. If a page already exists, improve it, by editing the current summary, and by adding your own commentary at the bottom.
- "How to Read a History Book
- "How to Write a Review
- "How to Write a Reading Response"
- "Reverse Engineering for Historians"
Professor Schrag will lead the first discussion meeting of the term; the remainder will be led by students. The student discussion leader is responsible for updating the page for the topic under discussion. To do this, she will need a good understanding not only of the books she has read, but also those read by her classmates, and the relationship of all the books together. The discussion meeting is her opportunity to make sure she understands the content of each book and the connections among them.
Spring 2013 (20c United States)
January 31. Progressivism
- Common Text: Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings, 1-408; Jacobs, Pocketbook Politics, 1-92.
- Celeste: Peter Hales, Silver Cities; Elisabeth Clemens, The People’s Lobby
- Kirk: Emily Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream; Kimberly S. Johnson, Governing the American State: Congress and the new Federalism, 1877-1929
February 21. New Deal
- Common Texts: Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings, 409-484; Jacobs, Pocketbook Politics, 95-175; Cohen, A Consumers' Republic, 5-61
- Celeste: Linda Gordon, Pitied But Not Entitled; Neil Maher, Nature's New Deal
- Kirk: Jordan Schwartz, The New Dealers; Colin Gordon, New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics in America, 1920-1935
March 7. World War II Home Front
- Common Texts: Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings, 485-508; Jacobs, Pocketbook Politics, 179-220; Cohen, A Consumers' Republic, 62-109.
- Celeste: Jasmine Alinder, Moving Images; George Roeder Jr., The Censored War
- Kirk: James T. Sparrow, Warfare State: World War II Americans and Age of Big Government; George Roeder Jr., The Censored War
April 4. Suburbanization
- Common Texts: Jacobs, Pocketbook Politics, 221-261; Cohen, A Consumers' Republic, 112-397.
- Celeste: Becky Nicolaides, My Blue Heaven; Andrew Wiese, Places of Their Own
- Kirk: Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier; M. Jeffrey Hardwick; Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of the American Dream
April 25. Conservatism
- Common Texts: Cohen, A Consumers' Republic, 399-410; Jacobs, Pocketbook Politics, 262-265; Schulman and Zelizer, Rightward Bound
- Celeste: Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands; Darren Dochuk, From Bible Belt to Sun Belt
- Kirk: Rick Perlstein, Nixonland; Michael W. Flamm, Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest, And The Crisis Of Liberalism in the 1960s
Fall 2012 (20c United States)
September 5. Progressivism
- Common Text: Hales, Silver Cities: Photographing American Urbanization, 1839-1939
- Sheri: Ewen, Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars; Molina, Fit to Be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939.
- Lindsey: Nightingale, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities; Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream: American Economic & Cultural Expansion 1890-1945
- Alexandra: Elisabeth S. Clemens, The People’s Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925; Frank Tobias Higbie, Indispensable Outcasts: Hobo Workers and Community in the American Midwest, 1880-1930.
September 19. New Deal
- Common Text: Schwarz, The New Dealers: Power Politics in the Age of Roosevelt
- Sheri: Gordon, Pitied But Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the History of Welfare; Smith, Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956.
- Lindsey: Cohen , A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America; Radford, Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal Era.
- Alexandra: Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939; G. William Domhoff, Class and Power in the New Deal: Corporate Moderates, Southern Democrats, and the Liberal-Labor Coalition
October 3. World War II
- Sheri: Eating for Victory
- Lindsey: The Bad City and the Good War
- Alexandra: Amy Bentley. Eating For Victory: Food Rationing And The Politics of Domesticity; George Roeder, Jr., The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two
October 17. Suburbanization
Common Text: Sorting Out the New South City
- Sheri: Downtown America; Crabgrass Frontier
- Lindsey: My Blue Heaven; Places of their Own
- Alexandra: Andrew Wiese, Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century; Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right
October 31. Civil Rights
Common Text: Chafe, Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom.
- Sheri: Goluboff, The Lost Promise of Civil Rights, Mcguire, At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power.
- Lindsey: Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty, Eskew, But for Birmingham
- Alexandra: Thomas J. Sugrue. Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North; Matthew Lassiter, The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism
November 14. Conservatism
- Optional: Perlstein, Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.
- Sheri: Moreton, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise
- Lindsey: Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism
- Alexandra: Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South; Bethany Moreton. To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise
Spring 2012 (History of Technology)
- Edgerton, David. The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900. Reprint. Oxford University Press, USA, 2011.
- Hughes, Thomas P. Human-Built World: How to Think about Technology and Culture. University Of Chicago Press, 2005.
- Hughes, Thomas Parke. American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970. New York, NY: Viking, 1989.
- Nye, David E. Technology Matters: Questions to Live With. The MIT Press, 2006.
- Scott James C. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
- Smith, Merritt Roe Marx, Leo. Does Technology Drive History?: The Dilemma of Technological Determinism. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994.
War and International Relations
- Alder, Ken. Engineering the Revolution: Arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815. University Of Chicago Press, 2010.
- Angevine, Robert. The Railroad and the State: War, Politics, and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America. Stanford University Press, 2004.
- Castillo, Greg. Cold War on the Home Front: The Soft Power of Midcentury Design. Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2010.
- Clodfelter, Mark. Beneficial Bombing: The Progressive Foundations of American Air Power, 1917-1945. Univ of Nebraska Pr, 2011.
- Conway, Erik. High-Speed Dreams: NASA and the Technopolitics of Supersonic Transportation, 1945-1999. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
- Franklin, H. Bruce. WAR STARS: The Superweapon and the American Imagination. Revised and Expanded. Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 2008.
- Monteyne, David. Fallout Shelter: Designing for Civil Defense in the Cold War. Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2011.
- Sherry, Professor Michael S. The Rise of American Air Power: The Creation of Armageddon. Yale University Press, 1989.
- Anderson, Warwick. Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines. Duke University Press Books, 2006.
- Brandt, Allan. The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America. 1st ed. Basic Books, 2009.
- Cogdell, Christina. Eugenic Design: Streamlining America in the 1930s. Reprint. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.
- Connelly, Matthew. Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population. 1st ed. Belknap Press, 2008.
- Cullather, Nick. The Hungry World: America’s Cold War Battle against Poverty in Asia. Harvard University Press, 2010.
- Reverby, Susan. Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy. 1st ed. The University of North Carolina Press, 2009.
Infrastructure and Transportation
- Axelrod, Jeremiah B.C. Inventing Autopia: Dreams and Visions of the Modern Metropolis in Jazz Age Los Angeles. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2009.
- Brassley, Paul, James Dickinson, Jacob Wamberg, Tadeusz Rachwal, Stuart Kidd, Christopher Bailey, Stephen Mosley, Barbara Allen, and Mark Luccarelli. Technologies of Landscape: From Reaping to Recycling. Univ of Massachusetts Pr, 2000.
- Clarsen, Georgine. Eat My Dust: Early Women Motorists. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
- Flood, Joe. The Fires : How a Computer Formula, Big Ideas, and the Best of Intentions Burned Down New York City--and Determined the Future of Cities. 1st ed. New York: Riverhead Books, 2011.
- Klingle, Matthew. Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle. Yale University Press, 2009.
- Mauch, Christof, and Thomas Zeller. The World beyond the Windshield: Roads and Landscapes in the United States and Europe. 1st ed. Ohio University Press, 2008.
- Melosi, Martin V. The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present. Abridged. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008.
- Norton, Peter D. Norton, Peter D. "Street Rivals: Jaywalking and the Invention of the Motor Age Street" Technology and Culture, Volume 48, Number 2, April 2007, pp.331-359 (Article).
- Zeller, Thomas. Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970. Berghahn Books, 2010.
Fall 2011 (Urban History)
- The Nineteenth Century City, 1817-1899
- Common text: The Park and the People
- The Progressive City, 1890-1932
- Common text: Sorting Out the New South City
- The Modern City, 1920-1965
- Common text: Downtown
- Alan: Making a New Deal and Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars
- Richard: Greenbelt, Maryland and Designing a New America
- The Urban Crisis, 1945-1980
- Common text: The Origins of the Urban Crisis
- The Suburbs and the Sunbelt
- Common text: Crabgrass Frontier
- Alan: Twentieth-Century Sprawl and City Center to Regional Mall
- Richard: My Blue Heaven, Places of Their Own, and Cities of Knowledge
- January 25. New Deal
- February 9 World War II
- Common text: The Rise of American Air Power (Scott will create entry)
- February 22 Suburbanizaton
- Common text: A Consumer's Republic
- Alan. Crabgrass Frontier, The New Suburban History
- Scott. Bulldozer in the Countryside, Invisible Hands
- March 22 Civil Rights
- Common text: The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism (Alan)
- Common text: The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn (Scott)
- Alan. Auto Mania, To Serve God and Wal-Mart
- Scott. From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Beyond Engineering
Common Text: Uncle Sam Wants You
- Becky The Burning Tigris and The Day Wall Street Exploded
- Gwen The Refuge of Affections and American Home Life
- John The Great Influenza and Behind the Mask of Chivalry
- February 22: New Deal
Common Text: Designing a New America
- Becky The Forgotten Man and Nature's New Deal
- Gwen Building a New Deal Liberalism and Modernizing Main Street
- John Freedom from Fear; The US in Depression and War and Impossible Subjects
- March 15: World War II
Common Text: The War in American Culture
- Becky American Jewry and the Holocaust and Embracing Defeat
- Gwen Victory Girls and WWII and the American Dream
- John The American People in WWII and Embracing Defeat
- April 5: Civil Rights
Common Text: The Origins of the Urban Crisis
- Becky The Race Beat and Cold War Civil Rights
- Gwen In Their Own Interest and Colored Property
- John The Movement and The Sixties and The Politics of Rage
Common Text: Suburban Warriors
- Becky Polio: An American Story and A Generation Divided
- Gwen Bourgeois Utopias and Crabgrass Frontier
- John Many Are The Crimes and Homeward Bound
Tuesdays, 3-4:30 pm.
- August 26: New Deal
- Bonnie: McGovern, And A Time For Hope and Gordon, Pitied but Not Entitled
- David: Kennedy, Freedom from Fear and Badger, The New Deal
- September 9: World War II
- Bonnie: Bentley, Eating for Victory and Goodwin, No Ordinary Time
- David: Albrecht, World War II and the American Dream and Zieger, The CIO, 1935-1955
- September 23: Anticommunism
- Bonnie: Oshinsky, Polio and Lewis, The White South and the Red Menace
- David: Fried, Nightmare in Red, and Bird and Sherwin American Prometheus
- October 7: Civil Rights
- Bonnie: Evans, Personal Politics and Levy, Civil War On Race Street
- David: Fredrickson, The Dixicrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South:1932-1968 and Theoharis and Woodard eds., Freedom North
- October 21: Great Society
- Bonnie: Rosen, The World Split Open and Davies, From Opportunity to Entitlement
- David: Isserman and Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s and Califano, Jr., The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson
- November 4: Backlash
- Bonnie: Durr, Behind the Backlash and Luker Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood
- David: Perlstein, Nixonland and McGirr, Suburban Warriors:
- November 18: Reagan's America
- Bonnie: Collins, Transforming America and Ehrman The Eighties: America in the Age of Reagan
- David: Wilentz, The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008 and Pembeton, Exit with Honor: The Life and Presidency of Ronald Reagan
Discussion leaders in parentheses.
- August 27: Progressivism (Zach)
- Amy: McGerr, A Fierce Discontent and Frankel and Dye, Gender, Class, Race, and Reform in the Progressive Era
- Curtis. Molina, Fit to Be Citizens? and Rosenberg, Financial Missionaries to the World
- Patricia: Irvin, Standing at Armageddon: The United States 1877-1919 and Gullett, Becoming Citizens: The Emergence and Developement of the California Women's Movement
- September 10: World War I (Patricia)
- Amy: Sterba, Good Americans and Keene, Doughboys, the Great War, and the Remaking of America
- Curtis: Woodward, Trial by Friendship and Keith, Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Fight
- Patricia: Zieger, America's Great War: World War I and the American Experience and Kennedy Disloyal Mothers and Scurrilous Citizens: Women and Subversion During World War I
- September 24: New Deal (Amy)
- Amy: Bold, The WPA Guides and Phillips, This Land, This Nation
- Curtis: Schwarz, The New Dealers and McDannell, Picturing Faith
- Patricia: Fagette, Digging for Dollars and Kirby, Black America in the Roosevelt Era
- October 8: World War II (Curtis)
- Amy: Boyer, By the Bomb's Early Light and Kryder, Divided Arsenal
- Curtis: Brooks, Defining the Peace and Savage, Broadcasting Freedom
- Patricia: Roger, Prisoners Without Trial and Larrabee, Commander in Chief
- October 22: Suburbanization (Patricia)
- Amy: Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier and Horowitz, Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique
- Curtis: Rome Bulldozer in the Countryside and Wiese, Places of Their Own
- Patricia: Findlay, Magic Lands and Karal, As Seen on TV
- November 5: Civil Rights (Curtis)
- Amy: Gayle, Window on Freedom and Evans, Personal Politics
- Curtis: Lassiter and Lewis, The Moderates' Dilemma and May, The Informant
- Patricia: Branch, At Canaan's Edge and Torres, Black, White and in Color
- November 19: Backlash (Amy)
- Amy: Perlstein, Before the Storm
- Curtis: Mason, Richard Nixon and the Quest for a New Majority and Rozell and Wilcox, Second Coming
- Patricia: Durr, Behind the Backlash and Andrew, The Other Side of the Sixties
- January 23: New Deal
- Kent: Pitied but not entitled; Designing a New America
- Lisa: A New Deal for the American People; Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal
- Liz: Brinkley,Voices of protest; Kelley, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression
- February 6: World War II
- Kent: War without mercy, The Rise of American Air Power
- Lisa: Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War; The Best War Ever
- Liz: Free to Die for Their Country; Forum For Protest
- February 20: Origins of the Cold War
- Kent: The Big Show in Bololand; Rethinking the Korean War
- Lisa: The Cold War; Cold War Constructions: The Political Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1945-1966
- Liz: Direct Action; A Peril and A Hope
- February 27: Suburbanization
- Kent: Bourgeois Utopias; Building Suburbia
- Lisa: Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the 20th Century ; Magic Lands: Western City Scapes
- Liz: Crabgrass Frontier; Bulldozer in the Countryside
- March 20: Vietnam
- Kent: Presidential decisions for war; Analogies at War
- Lisa: America's Longest War;The Vietnam War: A study in the Making of American Foreign Policy
- Liz: Confronting the War Machine; The Brothers' Vietnam War
- April 3: Backlash
- Kent: White Flight; Behind the Backlash
- Lisa: Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s; When Sex Goes to School
- Liz: The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South; God Gave us the Right
- April 17: Reagan's America
- Kent: Why Americans hate welfare; In the shadow of the poorhouse
- Lisa: The Eighties; Morning in America
- Liz: Poverty and Power;
- August 30: New Deal
- Dave: Leuchtenberg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940; Kennedy, Freedom From Fear
- Jim: Fagette, Digging for Dollars, American Archaeology and the New Deal; Organizing the Lakota, The Political Economy of the New Deal on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations
- September 13: World War II
- Dave: Weinberg, A World at Arms; Nash, American West Transformed
- Jim: Hastings, Overlord; Wainstock, The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb
- September 27: Origins of the Cold War
- Dave: Gladdis, The Cold War; Boyer, By the Bomb's Early Light
- Jim: Cahn, Killing Detente; Powers, Operation Overflight
- October 11: Civil Rights
- Dave: Ashmore, Civil Rights and Wrongs; Morris, Origins of the Civil Rights Movement
- Jim: Newman, The Civil Rights Movement; Whalen, The Longest Debate
- November 1: Vietnam
- Dave: Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest; Schulzinger, A Time for War
- Jim: Appy, Working-Class War; Krepinevich, The Army and Vietnam
- November 8: Backlash
- Dave: McGirr, Suburban Warriors:; Lienesch, Redeeming America
- Jim: Andrew, The Other Side of the Sixties; Brennan, Turning Right in the Sixties
- December 6: Reagan's America
- Dave: Troy, Morning in America; Patterson, Restless Giant
- Jim: Ehrman, The Eighties; Berman, Looking Back on the Reagan Presidency
- January 25: New Deal and World War II
- February 8: Origins of the Cold War
- February 22: Civil Rights
- Mary: Wilkinson, Harry Byrd and the Changing Face of Virginia Politics; Sitkoff, The Struggle for Black Equality; Dittmer, Local People;
- Ray: Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights; Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis
- March 8: Great Society
- March 22: Vietnam
- April 5: Backlash
- April 19: Reagan's America
I have posted some advice on "The Comprehensive Exam" on my personal website.
Master's students planning to take written comprehensive exams with me and doctoral students planning to include me on their committee should compile, as early as possible, a list of all scholarly books and journal articles on which they expect to be tested. These will mostly be taken from your graduate syllabi, but if you have read books on your own or for research projects and know them well, do include them.
I encourage you to schedule a practice exam with me some weeks before the actual exam.