US soldier holding guitar

Woodstock Nation

Michael O'Malley, Associate Professor of History and Art History, George Mason University

Assignment

Background

Look at the following three documents, then answer the questions below:

The Top 10 Singles of 1970
"War" by Edwin Starr, War and Peace (1970)
"Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, So Far (1970)

Questions

  1. Why do you think that Edwin Starr’s War was so popular?
  2. What event do the vocalists memorialize in “Ohio?”
  3. How many artists do you recognize in the “Top 10 Singles” list? What are the major themes in the top ten record sales? How do these themes compare with those in Edwin Starr and the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young pieces?
  4. How does list of best-selling singles compare with the list of most popular movies that you have compiled? (You may wish to consult some of the websites below to find plot synopses for the films if you are not familiar with them.) How would you account for this difference?
  5. Using the “Top 10” lists, was the nation’s popular culture particularly concerned about the Vietnam War or other social issues? Using these lists as an index to national attitudes, what were the nation interests in 1970? Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages generalizing about history from these sources.

Updated | April 2004

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