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79-381/88-333--Spring 1995 Prof. David A. Hounshell
Carnegie Mellon University



For almost fifty years, the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in the Cold War. This global stalemate emerged after both nations had been allies against Hitler during World War II. What political events precipitated the Cold War? What scientific and technological developments fueled the arms race that characterized the Cold War? What new institutions were created by the Cold War, and how were existing institutions reshaped by it? How did the Cold War condition society and culture? How did it shape the foreign policies of the U.S. and the Soviet Union? What did--and does--"the end of the Cold War" mean for citizens in the United States and the former Soviet Union? What vestiges of the cold War remain in our institutions and ideas? These are some of the principal questions addressed in this upper-level lecture and discussion class.


Several grading instruments will be used to evaluate student performance in the course. These include:

Midterm examination 20 percent

Final examination 20 percent

Debriefing exercise 10 percent

Film/video review 10 percent

Novel review 10 percent

History review 10 percent

Classroom discussion 20 percent

Attendance Policy

This course is predicated on having extensive discussions in the classroom and on two-way learning through such discussions. Attendance is critical to the success of our enterprise and is, therefore, mandatory. I recognize that people get sick, sometimes have to study or finish papers for other classes, go to job interviews, etc. These needs are accommodated in the following attendance policy: Students will be allowed two unexcused absences with no questions asked. Thereafter, each unexcused absence will automatically reduce your grade by five (5) points (on a one hundred-point scale) irrespective of your performance in other dimensions of the course. I reserve the right to determine what is an "excused absence." As you rule, you should speak to me face-to-face or communicate with me via telephone or email before your absence.

Required Books

Gregg Herken, Counsels of War

Gregg Herken, The Winning Weapon

Jack M. Holl, ed., Atoms for Peace

Stuart W. Leslie, The Cold War and American Science

Ralph B. Levering, The Cold War: A Post-Cold War History

Ann Markusen and Joel Yudken, Dismantling the Cold War Economy

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound

Ernest May, ed., American Cold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC 68

Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed

Herbert F. York, The Advisors



Final Examination as Scheduled by the University

NB: I reserve the right to change this syllabus at any time during the semester.

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