Jack Turner Iii
POL S 319
Major thinkers and themes in American political and cultural development from the Civil War to the present.
This course surveys American political thought from the Civil War to the present. Topics and authors include the crisis of postbellum America (Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass), Social Darwinism and progressive reform (William Graham Sumner and Jane Addams), the problem of the color-line (Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois), creative democracy (John Dewey), Cold War liberalism (Reinhold Niebuhr), the civil rights movement and its critics (Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin), the libertarian revival (Milton Friedman), and grassroots democracy (Jeffrey Stout).
Student learning goals
1. To obtain a basic knowledge of the history of American political thought from the Civil War to the present, and acquire a sense of the historical trajectory of American ideas about freedom, equality, and democracy during that period.
2. To expand our ability to connect past to present, so that our political arguments are more historically informed.
3. To conduct political dialogue with sympathy, critical attention, passion, and respect.
4. To strengthen our command of English prose through careful writing.
General method of instruction
Lecture and discussion.
Class assignments and grading
Three five-page interpretive essays.
Essay 1: 25%, Essay 2: 25%, Essay 3: 25%, Participation: 25%.