April 28/30 & May 5/7 – Concluding the course & Presentations

On April 28, we will summarize the main themes of the course and begin preparing for the final exam. On April 30, May 5, or May 7, each student will make a ~10 minute presentation summarizing his/her ethical reasoning essay. Your work will be evaluated not only its content, but also on the skill with… Continue reading April 28/30 & May 5/7 – Concluding the course & Presentations

April 21 – Endgame in the War in Europe + Nuclear Warfare in the Pacific

Endgame in Europe The first part of today’s class focuses on the final stages of the war in Europe. If you have time, watch: Netflix, World War II in Europe, Episode 12 ('Victory in Europe') and the German film 'Downfall.' Discussion questions [1] Even when it was clear the war was lost, especially after Hitler's… Continue reading April 21 – Endgame in the War in Europe + Nuclear Warfare in the Pacific

April 16 – D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, and Operation Bagration

The first half of today's class focuses on Operation Overlord, the western Allies' sweeping victories in the late summer and fall of 1944, and then the Wehrmacht's final offensive in the West, resulting in the Battle of the Bulge. If you have time, watch: Netflix, Greatest Events of World War II in Colour, Episode 6… Continue reading April 16 – D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, and Operation Bagration

April 14 – The Holocaust & Anti-Nazi Resistance

The Holocaust The first half of class focuses on the motives of ‘ordinary’ Germans who participated in the mass killings; the experience of Jews in the camps and an analysis of why certain people survived and others did not; resistance to the Holocaust by Jews and others throughout Europe; what the Allies knew and whether… Continue reading April 14 – The Holocaust & Anti-Nazi Resistance

April 9 – Strategic Bombing + the Pacific War

The first half of today’s class focuses on the American and British strategic bombing campaigns against German cities, and the second half focuses on the Pacific War. Strategic Bombing If you have an HBO subscription, I encourage you to watch 'The Cold Blue.' It's fascinating and relevant to today's discussion. [1] What were some of… Continue reading April 9 – Strategic Bombing + the Pacific War

April 7 – Americans at War and Japanese Internment

The first half of today’s class focuses on the contributions of women, African-Americans, and Latinos to the U.S. war effort. The second half focuses on Japanese internment and Japanese American soldiers' contributions to the U.S. war effort. Americans at War [1] Did the United States succeed in becoming the 'Arsenal of Democracy' that FDR called on Americans to build?… Continue reading April 7 – Americans at War and Japanese Internment

Feb. 20 [IC] – Japanese Victories & American Counter-Offensives

[Note: We will  meet in class today. In the first half of class, we will discuss the material from Feb. 18, and in the second half we will discuss today’s material.] To prepare for our discussion, watch: Netflix, Greatest Events of World War II, episode 3 (from the beginning to 3 minutes, then 34 minutes… Continue reading Feb. 20 [IC] – Japanese Victories & American Counter-Offensives

Feb. 18 [NC] – Rise of Fascism in Japan + Imperial Japan at War, ’31 – Nov. ’41

[Note: We will _not_ meet in class today. Instead, we will discuss this material in the first half of our class meeting on Thursday February 20.] To prepare for today's discussion, watch: Netflix, Greatest Events of World War II, episode 3 (from the beginning to 34 minutes) You have a weekly writing assignment due by… Continue reading Feb. 18 [NC] – Rise of Fascism in Japan + Imperial Japan at War, ’31 – Nov. ’41

Feb. 13 [IC] – U.S. Interventionism and its opponents, ’35 – ’41

[Note: We will  meet in class today. In the first half of class, we will discuss the material from Feb. 11, and in the second half we will discuss today’s material.] For today's class, we will discuss the debate among Americans concerning the extent to which the United States should be involved in the international… Continue reading Feb. 13 [IC] – U.S. Interventionism and its opponents, ’35 – ’41

Feb. 11 [NC] – The Fall of France + Battle of Britain

[Note: We will _not_ meet in class today. Instead, we will discuss this material in the first half of our class meeting on Thursday February 13.] For today's class, we will discuss the outlook of the French and German high commands in early May 1940; the reasons for France's defeat; the bombing of civilian targets;… Continue reading Feb. 11 [NC] – The Fall of France + Battle of Britain

Jan. 30 [IC] – Constructing the Third Reich + Opposition to the Nazis

[Note: We will  meet in class today. In the first half of class, we will discuss the material from Jan. 28, and in the second half we will discuss today's material.] Today's class focuses on how the Nazis sought to transform Germany into a society perfectly aligned with National Socialist ideals and evaluates how successful… Continue reading Jan. 30 [IC] – Constructing the Third Reich + Opposition to the Nazis