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America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years

Survey the past 30 years of the American story to understand our world today.
America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 34.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from This course is a difficult scholarly task The study of, and commentary on, "recent history" subjects the scholar to intense scrutiny and second guessing on account of "real time" events directly linked to topics thought to be "settled history" but, in fact, still in a state of flux and seeking resolution. And so it is with this program's series of lectures. Many course "attendees" will disagree with this or that point of discussion, for certain. Also, the short length of the program (i.e. "only" twelve lectures") demands a "high, or macro, level" approach to the topics covered as well as hard decisions as to what topics will, in fact, be covered. Nonetheless, this course of study can "seed" much constructive thought and possible reconsideration of events in the not-so-distant past.
Date published: 2022-06-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Brief overview of America during the last 30 years This course did not impress me. It's basically a recap of the last 30 years of American political history with some glaring omissions. Listing the policies and actions of the last four Presidents the course reminded me of a special I might view on a cable news channel. The course does include lectures on American education and cultural impact but both those subjects were underserved. Also, the creation of Homeland Security, the militarization of the police, and the cyber state are all ignored. More time is spent on the Monica Lewinsky affair than any of these subjects. Also, N.A.F.T.A., the rise of China, and other significant social changes are ignored. I enjoyed this course because I lived through these times and it was brief but there is very little here for me to recommend it.
Date published: 2022-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I really like Professor Allitt very much and have several courses of him. However, I was disappointed with the last chapter. I think it would be good for GREAT COURSES to re-do some of their courses when new evidence has come out. I noticed the slant towards the Democrats in some of the courses
Date published: 2022-04-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Generally good, but a few disappointments For the most oart I did enjoy professor Allit's course. He re-told the history of post Cold War as I remembered it adding a few facts I did not know, However I was very put off by his describing the evidence against Justice Brett Kavanaugh as "credible". It as not. It was totally based on uncorroborated hearsay. One of the purveyors of that despicable smear campaign is on his way to jail. Sadly it did taint my appreciation of the course.
Date published: 2021-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very interesting course by outstanding professor. I took virtually every course by Dr. Patrick N. Allitt on this site. And each of them was brilliant in my opinion. This course proves that History is a science about the past. It is hard for a historian to analyze the modern days. Personal preferences and political ideas have too much influence even on the best historians. Nevertheless I really like this course and highly recommend it.
Date published: 2021-10-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Overview I enjoyed hearing Professor Allitt's lectures. He has a very pleasing way of speaking and his explanations are easy to understand. I was familiar with most of the topics as anyone who follows the news will be. However, lecture 11 had a lot of new information for me. This lecture focused on culture. I learned about writers, architects, and artists that I didn't know about.
Date published: 2021-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All Essential I lived through all of these years and found Dr. Allitt's presentation so engaging that I binge-watched all twelve lectures. As others have mentioned, other events could have been included, but then the course would have needed to be longer. There is always a trade-off. Clearly, this was intended to be a "survey" course, merely conversant upon most subjects. As with all survey courses, you need to do your own research and delve deeper to fully understand the events. A complete discussion of all these events - and there were often more than merely two points of view - would have doubled or tripled the length of the course. For example, one reviewer above charged biased omission in what seemed to him or her to be an unquestionable matter of fact: "Since, as professor mentions, the Benghazi accusations were alleged by Republicans it would help, for neutrality sake, to mention that Muller probe was conducted by Democrats based on Clinton’s “evidence” purchased from Russians." Well, it is more complicated than this. The above assumes the Mueller report stemmed from the Steele dossier. The genesis of the investigation derived not from the Steele dossier but from a tip to the FBI from the Australian government in July 2016 after the dump of stolen DNC documents. At that point, the FBI began their investigation. At the same time, the FBI was investigating Clinton's emails. Comey decided to discuss the Clinton investigation publicly - but afforded the Trump investigation complete secrecy until after the election. The Steele dossier had its roots in an investigation begun by the conservative news website, The Washington Free Beacon, during the 2016 campaign for which they hired Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS in turn, commissioned Christopher Steele to investigate. Multiple candidates in the Republican primary hired Fusion GPS to research Trump. Thus began what was later called "the Steele dossier." As the primary candidates dropped out, Clinton and the DNC picked up the research. After Steele's work was leaked to the press, it was referred to as "the Steele dossier." (Source: NPR 10-28-2017; Washington Post 4-1-2019) On the other hand, if your only source is then-president Donald Trump, you would say Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid for the Steele research and it was a witch hunt. In line with the Cold War theme, a discussion on cyber warfare would have been in order. Examples of disinformation that the Russian sources posted on social media would have been apropos. For example, the charges and dire predictions about her health after her collapse (medically diagnosed as due to pneumonia) at the 9/11 ceremony in New York. Allitt included quite a few negatives about the Democrats and Republicans both. If he had wanted to be biased, there were many many more he could have cited. These were good, balanced lectures. Yes, walking around with an audience present would have been preferable visually. We do not know why Allitt was sitting. The video's photo and video clips added immediacy. I recommend the video version.
Date published: 2021-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Balance This course is another high quality product from Professor Allitt. In my view, it presents an excellent overview of conditions in the United States since 1989 & the fall of the wall through 2019. It maintains a delicate upbeat and thoughtful balance between liberal and conservative points of view. It reminds us of the progress we've made since the days of the cold war, and is an excellent extension of Prof. Allitts other historical courses. If you want to review important lessons from our history that we mustn't forget, check out this video and the others in the series.
Date published: 2021-07-07
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Overview

America after the Cold War: The First Thirty Years offers you the chance to step back and look at the complex and ever-evolving story of the United States from 1990 to 2019. Taught by esteemed professor and Great Courses favorite Dr. Patrick Allitt of Emory University, these 12 fascinating lectures tie all the threads of contemporary life together and give you a rich understanding of the world we live in today.

About

Patrick N. Allitt

Nostalgia is the enemy of history. 'Downton Abbey' is great fun but it's not history. If seeing or reading something historical makes you feel warm and cosy, it's probably very inaccurate.

INSTITUTION

Emory University

Dr. Patrick N. Allitt is Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University, where he has taught since 1988. The holder of a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Allitt-an Oxford University graduate-has also taught American religious history at Harvard Divinity School, where he was a Henry Luce Postdoctoral Fellow. He was the Director of Emory College's Center for Teaching and Curriculum from 2004 to 2009, where he looked for ways to improve teaching. In this critical administrative position, he led workshops on a wide variety of teaching-related problems, visited dozens of other professors' classes, and provided one-on-one consultation to teachers to help them overcome particular pedagogical problems. Professor Allitt was honored with Emory's Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2000 was appointed to the N.E.H./Arthur Blank Professorship of Teaching in the Humanities. A widely published and award-winning author, Professor Allitt has written several books, including The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History; Catholic Intellectuals and Conservative Politics in America, 1950-1985; Catholic Converts: British and American Intellectuals Turn to Rome; and Religion in America since 1945: A History. He is also author of I'm the Teacher, You're the Student: A Semester in the University Classroom, a memoir about one semester in his life as a university professor. In addition, he is the editor of Major Problems in American Religious History. He has written numerous articles and reviews for academic and popular journals, including The New York Times Book Review.

By This Professor

The Industrial Revolution
854
The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator
854
The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales
854
The American West: History, Myth, and Legacy
854
A History of the United States, 2nd Edition
854
America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years
854
America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years

Trailer

1990: America’s New World Order

01: 1990: America’s New World Order

The end of the Cold War was an inflection point in history. No one expected the rapid collapse of the Soviet Union, but starting with the fall of the Berlin Wall, everything changed. Delve into the American story in the early 1990s, when conflicts in Kuwait and Bosnia tested America’s new role in a post-Soviet world.

29 min
The Clintons and the 1990s

02: The Clintons and the 1990s

Bill Clinton’s presidency dominated the domestic news in the 1990s. From his dramatic showdown with Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congress’s “Contract with America” to the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Clinton’s subsequent impeachment trial, this was a presidency of high drama. Survey this tumultuous decade in American history.

29 min
A New Millennium, George W. Bush, and 9/11

03: A New Millennium, George W. Bush, and 9/11

The end of the Cold War may have reshaped the world order, but 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror completely transformed America. Go back to the contested election of 2000 and trace the events leading up to the terrorist attack on American soil on September 11, 2001. Learn why 19 hijackers of three airplanes attacked America, and what happened next.

28 min
The US Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

04: The US Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

Historians will long discuss and debate the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As you will learn here, the war in Afghanistan had some justification, given the role of al-Qaeda in 9/11. Professor Allitt also reviews the facts surrounding the war in Iraq—the path to war, the deterioration on the ground, and the war’s effect on the United States.

29 min
The US Economy: Long Boom to Big Crash

05: The US Economy: Long Boom to Big Crash

The 1990s through the mid-2000s have been called the “great moderation,” a period of generally low inflation and stable growth. Within that period, the dot-com boom and bust created ripples, but it was the mortgage crisis that struck a seismic blow to the U.S. economy. Witness the booms and busts of this fascinating period in business.

28 min
Obama, Hope, and Polarization

06: Obama, Hope, and Polarization

In 2008, America was tired of war and entering a deep recession. President Obama was seen as a beacon of hope, yet his administration soon ran into intractable foreign and domestic challenges. Examine the major events of his presidency, from the bank bailouts and health care reform to the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS.

28 min
African American Paradoxes after 1990

07: African American Paradoxes after 1990

Despite progress from the Civil Rights movement a generation earlier, race is a dominant theme in American history through the 1990s and 2000s. Here, Professor Allitt investigates the paradoxes and racial conflicts of the last 30 years, from the Rodney King riots to the Black Lives Matter movement. He also spotlights positive developments.

27 min
Science and Technology in the Internet Age

08: Science and Technology in the Internet Age

The last 30 years of American history have been a golden age of inventions. The personal computer, social media, the smart phone, and apps have changed everything about how we operate in the world. Meanwhile, scientists of all kinds—astronomers, paleontologists, geneticists—have redefined our understanding of humans and our place in the universe.

29 min
US Energy Independence and Climate Change

09: US Energy Independence and Climate Change

Industrialization requires energy, but energy comes with a host of negative side effects, from local pollution to global climate change. Explore the shifting status of energy in the U.S. through the 1990s and 2000s, from the Kyoto Protocol to the IPCC and from “cap and trade” policy efforts to policies promoting solar, wind, and hydroelectric power.

30 min
Putting US Education to the Test after 1990

10: Putting US Education to the Test after 1990

Is America a society where no child is left behind? As this analysis of American policies toward education demonstrates, the U.S. education system leaves much to be desired, even as our universities remain among the very best in the world. From standardized tests to charter schools, take a tour of America’s school system.

30 min
A New Golden Age of American Culture

11: A New Golden Age of American Culture

From the old guard of Philip Roth and Saul Bellow to the next generation of novelists—Donna Tartt, Junot Diaz, Viet Thanh Nguyen—American fiction is livelier than ever. But it isn’t just books: Television, the visual arts, architecture, and even theater (with productions like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton) are enjoying an artistic golden age.

29 min
The Trump Upset

12: The Trump Upset

History truly is full of surprises—and is still being written. In this closing lecture, you’ll survey one of the most surprising political events in recent decades: the election of President Donald Trump. From his use of social media to controversial policies and more, review the milestones of Trump’s presidency (so far).

29 min