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The New American Society

Semester and Year SP 2012
Course Number IDSEM-UG1573
Section 001
Instructor Laurin Raiken
Days T
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SOC



Until 2007-08 we took for granted that in the past sixty years following World War II, the industrialized Western world experienced unprecedented economic expansion, and the United States was economically and geopolitically.” the dominant superpower, indeed America was the primary coordinator and beneficiary of the post World War II period. Only a few keen observers detected economic flaws or geopolitical vulnerability in what has been called “The American Century.” Since the mid-1970s however, there have been enormous changes in the United States and the world. New forms of violence, major economic shifts and geopolitical reversals have seriously undermined and changed the world order and particularly American lives and even more pointedly the lives of American youth. Recently the self-destruction and breakdown of the U.S. financial and economic systems triggered a deep global destabilization and The Great Recession. For a growing number of Americans life has become the equivalent to the severe dislocations of the Great Depression of the 1930s. With this broad historical are in view, this seminar offers a critical history of Post World War II America, focusing especially on major social, political, ideological, extremist “teavangelical” obstructionist aggression and the world historical economic collapse. Readings will include social and political thinkers such as C. Wright Mills, Barrington Moore Jr., Hannah Arendt, and Arthur J. Vidich and economists such as, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, John Kenneth Galbraith, the essayist John Lanchester, and Nobel Laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stieglitz. We will read “Ill Fares the Land,” by the late New York University historian Tony Judt, n be inspired by the work of the great world class political economist and unsung American radical thinker, Thorstein Veblen.


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Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)