Monday, November 19, 2007

466 midterm #2

Here it comes again, look out...466 Midterm 2:

History 466/Cold War/2nd midterm for December 13, 2007

Directions Part I: While I am painting the Square Red(er, anyway) in the former enemy capital—Moscow-- here is something to keep you off the streets and out of trouble prior to December l3. As usual, prepare all the questions—unless you’re lucky and/or clairvoyant--using material from reading, lectures, videos, and any outside reading you have done. You will write on ONE at the exam, plus part II, the little diversion on CW geography.

1There is a famous episode of the old series “Twilight Zone” entitled, “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street.” A synopsis would go as follows: the residents of Maple Street are suddenly plagued with scary, inexplicable phenomena: electricity going on and off, cars starting spontaneously, strange lights flashing. Residents become increasingly panicked and focus their worry and anger on “strange” people in the neighborhood with offbeat habits, knowledge or beliefs. The upshot is that a teenage boy is killed by an overwrought adult brandishing a gun. The scene then cuts to a spaceship and a couple of aliens looking satisfied. One says, “We didn’t need to invade them: all we had to do is flash a few lights, make’em a little scared, and they destroy themselves.”

It is said that Rod Serling wrote this episode in the mid-50s with recent events in the Cold War fresh in his mind. What events might have served as an inspiration for this story?

2)We all have a tendency to associate the Cold War with barbed wire, occupation troops and shows of military hardware in faraway places, like Red Square in Moscow. Yet the Cold War came home in a big way, here to the United States as well to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Write an essay in which you discuss some of the ways in whice the Cold War affected the lives of ordinary people in the United States and the Soviet Union/Eastern Europe. Take care with this, be selective, because you’re dealing with a very broad question.

3) In his memoir of the Kennedy White House, Thirteen Days, Robert F. Kennedy spoke of the importance of knowing your adversary’s interests(national and personal) in trying to resolve a crisis. First, explain in general terms what Khrushchev’s and Kennedy’s interests were, heading into their confrontations. Then take TWO from among of the following—the Bay of Pigs, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missle Crisis—and evaluate how each advanced/or defended, or failed to advance/defend, those interests.

Directions Part II, short answer(10%), Cold War Geography: Spin the globe and find the 38th and l7th parallels. What do they mark, and why are they important in the big scheme of things?

Pithy Quote to Give the Exam a Ringing Ending: "Good night, and Good luck!"...E.R. Murrow

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