This is an open-book and open-notes examination, designed to be completed in 140 minutes or less. It tests your knowledge of both lecture content and assigned readings, and success depends on your facility in bringing the different components together in a narrative whole. You are best-served by reviewing lecture notes and readings firstand then sitting down to write the exam with your references close at hand. Readings to be consulted include the five books as well as primary sources handed out in class.
As a guideline, the estimated time to be spent on each question or section is indicated below. This timeframe should also allow you some time to draft and edit for style, clarity, and organization. There is no strict length requirement, but you should aim for a total word count (all four essays combined) of somewhere in the range of 1750-2500 words.
Quotation of passages from the readings should be followed by page numbers in parentheses. Lectures do not require citation.
You should not consult additional sources in preparing for this exam. (Remember that both the instructor and TA can Google and use Wikipedia to determine if answers have been obtained from online sources. We also can easily use a Google text search to detect plagiarism.) You may study with friends, but you are expected to write this exam as a solo effort and should not converse with them while producing it. You are expected to adhere to the standards of academic integrity outlined by the University of Washington Student Conduct Code (links can be found in the class syllabus)
ESSAY QUESTION ONE (10 points, est. 40 min)
How did the nature of work and the political and economic power of workers change between the 1950s and today? What were the catalysts for these changes? Use at least four specific examples (people, places, events) from lecture and readings as evidence for your argument.
ESSAY QUESTION TWO (10 points, est. 40 min)
How did the constituencies and platforms of the two major political parties (Democrat and Republican) change over time? Why? In answering this question, compare and contrast at least three moments between 1920 and the present day, using specific examples (people, places, events) from lecture and readings as evidence for your argument.
ESSAY QUESTION THREE (10 points, est. 40 min)
This is an extended version of the quick write you completed on 5/29, and you may build on the text of your original essay to write it. Compare and contrast the two visions of America outlined by Henry Luce in “The American Century” and Esther Dyson et al. in “Cyberspace and the American Dream.” (PDFs of these readings are available on Canvas in the Files section, Primary Source Readings folder.) Bringing in specific examples from the lectures and readings, discuss how Luce’s essay relates to the broader political and economic currents of the early 1940s, and how America’s role in the postwar world reflected Luce’s vision. Then, also with examples from lectures and readings, discuss how the Dyson piece relates to the broader political and economic currents of the mid-1990s, and whether the piece was correct in its predictions and prescriptions. What might be the major priorities and goals of an alternative, historically informed vision of “the new American century” suitable for the challenges and opportunities of 2018?
ESSAY QUESTION FOUR (5 points, est. 20 min)
Drawing on the five books you read for this class, discuss the difference between historical monograph (Gordon, Ensmenger, Moreton) and personal memoir (Bates, Drew) in terms of sources, method, narrative style, analytic style. What are the pros and cons of memoirs as a primary historical source? How are the methods of the historian different from that of the journalist (e.g. Drew)? Tell us the book of the five that you found the most memorable and relevant, and why.