Choose ONE of this week’s FIVE questions and respond to all parts of your chosen question
1. The Post WW2 â€œEconomic Boomâ€ (1945-1958): In our assigned reading this week, James Patterson outlines EIGHT reasons for Americaâ€™s post-WW2 economic boom (see pp. 64-81; with subsequent support developed in chapters 9 and 11). A-D. Identify and explain what you consider to be the four most important reasons for Americaâ€™s economic expansion and prosperity between 1945 and 1958. Justify your selections using facts provided in the textbook and researched via supplementary academic sources. E. In light of this investigation; summarize why Patterson decided to title his book Grand Expectations.
2. Eisenhowerâ€™s â€œHidden Handâ€ Presidency (1953-1960): In our assigned reading this week, James Patterson notes (p. 265) that political scientist Fred Greenstein wrote an influential book entitled Hidden-Hand Presidency (first published in 1982) that describes Ikeâ€™s leadership style as subtle and deserving more credit than assumed by many contemporary scholars. Explore this assessment by detailing at least one (EACH) of the following incidents/decisions that show Eisenhowerâ€™s â€œbehind-the-scenesâ€ approach to resolving a key issue with A) an administration staffer or federal agency; B) dealing with a contentious domestic political issue; and C) dealing with one or more potentially volatile foreign policy decisions/actions. D. Overall, do you find Ikeâ€™s presidential leadership style to have been effective, or not? Justify your assessment.
3. The New Look / Massive Retaliation: (1953-1960): A. Define the Eisenhowerâ€™s Cold-War strategy called the â€œNew Look.â€ B. To what extent was this a departure from the Truman approach, especially following adoption of NSC-68 in 1950? C. Did it deliver, as touted at the time: â€œmore bang for the buckâ€ (as cited by Patterson, p. 288)? D. How did the New Look strategy deny American military forces a full-spectrum capability for â€œflexibleâ€ response (as argued by a number of senior military officers and the Democratic opposition)? E. All things considered, in your informed opinion, was â€œMassive Retaliationâ€ an effective strategy; or not; and why?
4. The CIAâ€™s Ascendency (1953-1960): Given the data and case studies cited by Pattersonâ€™s Grand Expectations, summarize the CIAâ€™s role A. in Iran (1951-53); B. Guatemala (1954); C. Managing classified U-2 aircraft surveillance fights over the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and into 1960. D-E. From your research (in the text and via supplemental sources), assess at least one positive and one negative legacy of the CIA’s actions during the Eisenhower administration. F. Speculate: Why did the CIA emerge as a major player in promoting American foreign-policy objectives during the Eisenhower administration? [Hint: consider your response to this sub-question in light of strengths and weaknesses of Ikeâ€™s “New Look” strategy.]
5. The Impact of Television and Americaâ€™s â€œMass Consumer Cultureâ€ (1945-1960): A-C. Research and comment on three ways that television influenced Americaâ€™s â€œmass consumer cultureâ€ in the 1950s. D-F. Despite Americaâ€™s unprecedented rise in prosperity during these years (see Patterson, pp. 312-13): outline at least three â€œnegativeâ€ elements that critics ascribed to Americaâ€™s â€œconsumer cultureâ€ in the 1950s. G. In terms of total impact, did these critiques detract from the majority of Americansâ€™ positive outlook as of the late 1950s? If so, how? If not, why not?