HIST 615: Problems in American History
HIST 615-002: U.S. National Security State
Section Information for Spring 2017
From World War 1 to the War on Terror, the politics of national security have been controversial. How should a democratic polity reconcile security with liberty? Has America's role as "leader of the free world" undermined freedom at home? What is the "nation," and what is "security," and who decides? How have the politics of national security shaped the broader arc of American history? In this seminar we will read widely in the history of the U.S. national security state, seeking answers to these questions. Readings will explore such subjects as the Red Scare and McCarthyism, citizenship and civil liberties in times of war, the military-industrial complex, programs of surveillance and counter-subversion, and the shifting relationship between state agencies and civil society. Throughout, we will pay particular attention to contentious debates about what has threatened American national security at different moments, and to the impact of American wars on culture, politics, and society at home. The course will both provide an overview of the history of the national security state and offer an introduction to the interdisciplinary methods historians use to make sense of this complex and controversial subject.
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Course Information from the University Catalog
Readings and discussion of bibliographies, interpretations, and research trends in topics selected by instructor.
May be repeated for credit when topic is different.
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