I truly enjoyed Mary Dudziak’s January 22 presentation. Both of her books, Cold War Civil Rights and Exporting American Dreams, are terrific reads and her presentation deepened the analyses, insights, and stories featured within.
What I got the most out of the evening, though, was the way she framed the discussion. She started by showing us the typical US map she remembers from her childhood: A US floating in space, without context (and with Alaska and Hawaii floating just to the west.)
In contrast is the world as we know it (and would like our students and world leaders to see it): Interconnected and related. Historians need to look beyond borders to understand the past.
So, Dudziak related, when she was studying Brown v Board and looking at newspapers heralding the results – alongside headlines about the McCarthy hearings – she had to ask: How might the story of the federal response to the struggle for civil rights and the Cold War be related?
The documents she put together for the presentation along with the readings from her books, all found here, are fantastic; this simple way of looking at US History was invaluable.
How do you globalize your US History instruction?