1600 word max, U.S. history paper on the book All the Presidents Men OR Dispatches

Your task: consider one of these two books and the larger themes they raise in historical perspective, from the 1970s to the present. Key themes include, but aren’t limited to: War and foreign policy; soldiers’ experience on the ground and in the media; public trust and the executive branch; expectations and life after the end of the “long boom”; the sense of shared or fractured culture; movements for social equality; globalization and U.S. role in the world; privacy and civil liberties. Thesis-based easy answering the following:Does Dispatches or ATPM offer useful insights into how Americans thought of themselves and how the nation should work – both within the 1970s era and in the more recent past and in terms of the role of journalists, the press and news media in the national dialogues? This is the specific format of the essay: (3 parts) The first thing you should do in preparation for this essay is to decide what theme or themes on which to focus (see some examples above). Americans thought about themselves and how the nation should work in multiple dimensions – choose a limited and specific set of themes to work with. The first paragraph of your essay should clearly identify the theme(s) and clearly contain a single, overarching thesis in response to the question above – yes it does, no it doesn’t or some combination. (The “no” answer may be a bit less obvious here, but there is no requirement to argue yes and there are valid ways to argue a “no” position – we are happy to chat strategy as helpful.) You should organize your discussion as a unified essay thatincludes three main sections. Essentially, make this the outline for the body of your essay.Use the text of either Dispatches or ATPM as the central focus to discuss the relevance of their themes for the 1970s era. Important: make sure you draw direct textual evidence (quotations, stories, passages) from the book. Failure to do so will negatively affect your grade (see rubric). Optional sources you might draw on to supplement your analysis or illustrate your themes include:Hall, Vietnam Era Antiwar MovementHerring, Vietnam SyndromeO’Brien, On the Rainy RiverDocumentary film clips from lectureNewsweek, The Nixon TapesFoner text Woodward & Bernstein, Nixon Was Far Worse Carter, Crisis of ConfidenceSchultz, What It Was LikeEconomic expectations handoutNetwork “Mad as hell” clip from lectureSlow Burn podcastYou are welcome to reference issues/sources in the era before the 1970s where useful to your analysis – i.e. Cold War, long boom, GI Bill, Second Bill of Rights, the Civil Rights movement, etc.Explore how and to what extent these themes continued to resonate and/or evolved – expanded, receded, intensified, or changed – in American life in the decades since (1980s-2010s). Include at least TWO (2) sources from D2L in the “Sources” folder, film clips/handouts appearing in the “Lecture Slides” folder (but not individual lectures themselves) for weeks 13-15, or the source you used for HW10. See folders for all eligible sources, but for example, you might consider:Cigelske, The Continuing Impact Reagan, Speech to Nat. Assn. of Evangelicals Morning in America ad shown in lecture Reagan’s Approval Ratings and Iran-Contra Reagan at Brandenburg gate clipBush, New World OrderHuntley, Who Won the Cold War?Declaration for Global Democracy MCI/Worldcom ad shown in lectureNational Security Strategy of the U.S.Byrd, Speech on the War in Iraq Iraq: Voices of the Fallen NewsweekBranding of the Occupy MovementWomen in Combat articlesSnowden on PrivacyUfford, 18 Years Ago I Helped Start a WarVeniste, Watergate LawyerYour HW10 sourceYou may include more than two sources where relevant and if there is room – there is no “limit” on these. General references to lecture or Foner can help to provide context by they do not “count” as one of the two required. If you want to use a specific image from lecture as a source, seek specific advance approval from your TA. If you have questions about whether a given source “counts” or not, please ask sooner rather than later. We are happy to help you sort this out.Consider the role of journalists, the press, and the news media in shaping the national dialogue in relation to the themes you’ve chosen. Both Dispatches and ATPM were widely read publications by journalists that provided information and narratives for Americans to assess Vietnam, Watergate, and the challenges they represented. How do you assess that influence historically and how does your study of these books and themes shed light on the role of journalism in our own time?No minimum here, but sources you might draw on to develop your analysis include:Baughman, Fall & Rise of Partisan JournalismTanz, Journalism Fights for Survival Woodward & Bernstein, Nixon Was Far Worse Schultz, What It Was LikeCigelske, The Continuing ImpactSnowden on Privacy
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Take Home Exam #3
Limit your total written work to no more than 1600 words (this is approximately 6 double-spaced
pages). All word processing programs have a “word count” tool so you can check your total.
There is a penalty for going over the maximum (1 pt. per 20 words over), so keep track, revise if
necessary, and make your words count. There is no penalty for being under 1600, although it
would be difficult to complete a successful exam in many fewer. Please calculate your total word
count (minus citations and titles, etc.), type it at the top, near your name.
Although you have more room to maneuver in your essay answer in this exam than the previous
two, clear and concise presentation of your response remains the goal, more so than stylistic
conventions. We do still expect your answers to be organized, logical, and free of errors in
spelling, punctuation, and grammar, so make sure to proofread! Most importantly, and especially
for this one longer essay, make you have a clear thesis/argument to structure your paper (see the
Three Tests for a Good Thesis handout and instructions in the question below).
As before, we strongly discourage you from pursuing web-based or other research for this
assignment, beyond the source you found for HW10. You should have plenty to draw upon from
among the course materials. You should keep the central focus on analysis of the book you’ve
chosen, drawing specific examples and textual evidence from that as well as from relevant course
materials: sources, articles, images and handouts, film and audio clips, Foner and lecture.
Successful essays will keep the central focus on analysis of the text and the chosen theme(s). See
last page for important instructions if you do decide to consult external sources.
For course materials, simple parenthetical citations are still fine, i.e. (Foner, p. 132); (Lippman, p.
12); (“Morning in America”); (lecture, 4/16). Endnotes are fine so long as you use them correctly
(see Citation Guide handout for proper formats). In neither case do citations count against the word
max; you may subtract them from your total.
Plagiarism-checking software (turnitin.com) is enabled for this assignment, so be sure to avoid any
inappropriate or unattributed use of sources, texts, websites, or others’ papers. This assignment
is also subject to the honor code oath, and by uploading it to D2L you affirm that: “On my honor as
a University of Colorado at Boulder student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized
assistance on this work.” See last page for explanation of what kinds of help are acceptable,
student access to turnitin.com reports, a few more details on formatting, and suggestions for how
to produce your best work – this assignment is designed with that goal in mind.
Assignment due via upload to the D2L Dropbox only (no hard copy needed)
by
Sunday May 6 @ 10p
All papers received after the grace period expires (May 7 @ 10a) will accrue late penalties of 1/3
grade per 24-hour period after the original due date/time. No work will be accepted after 10pm
on Wednesday May 9, which is the last day to turn work in for Spring Semester. If you have three
or more final exams on May 6, please contact me if you would want to request schedule
adjustments. Reminder: there is no in-class final for this class.
The prompt:
Dispatches and All the President’s Men each recounted challenges to how Americans
understood themselves and the nation. In the in 1970s, the losses of Vietnam and the lies
Watergate, along with the newly realized limits in the economy, environment, and shared
culture, shook many Americans’ belief in the nation’s character and their own futures. While
these books spoke to the multiple crises of the time, they continue to resonate with issues
Americans have grappled with in the decades since.
Your task is to consider one of these two books and the larger themes they raise in historical
perspective, from the 1970s to the present. Some key themes include, but aren’t limited to:
War and foreign policy; soldiers’ experience on the ground and in the media; public trust and
the executive branch; expectations and life after the end of the “long boom”; the sense of
shared or fractured culture; movements for social equality; globalization and U.S. role in the
world; privacy and civil liberties.
Write a unified, thesis-based essay that answers the following question:
Does Dispatches or ATPM offer useful insights into how Americans thought of
themselves and how the nation should work – both within the 1970s era and in
the more recent past and in terms of the role of journalists, the press and news
media in the national dialogues?
The process:
The first thing you should do in preparation for this essay is to decide what theme or themes on
which to focus (see some examples above). Americans thought about themselves and how the
nation should work in multiple dimensions – choose a limited and specific set of themes to
work with. The first paragraph of your essay should clearly identify the theme(s) and clearly
contain a single, overarching thesis in response to the question above – yes it does, no it
doesn’t or some combination. (The “no” answer may be a bit less obvious here, but there is no
requirement to argue yes and there are valid ways to argue a “no” position – we are happy to
chat strategy as helpful.) You should organize your discussion as a unified essay that includes
three main sections. Essentially, make this the outline for the body of your essay.
1. Use the text of either Dispatches or ATPM as the central focus to discuss the relevance of
their themes for the 1970s era. Important: make sure you draw direct textual evidence
(quotations, stories, passages) from the book. Failure to do so will negatively affect your
grade (see rubric). Optional sources you might draw on to supplement your analysis or
illustrate your themes include:
Hall, Vietnam Era Antiwar Movement
Herring, Vietnam Syndrome
O’Brien, On the Rainy River
Documentary film clips from lecture
Newsweek, The Nixon Tapes
Foner text
Woodward & Bernstein, Nixon Was Far Worse
Carter, Crisis of Confidence
Schultz, What It Was Like
Economic expectations handout
Network “Mad as hell” clip from lecture
Slow Burn podcast
You are welcome to reference issues/sources in the era before the 1970s where useful to your
analysis – i.e. Cold War, long boom, GI Bill, Second Bill of Rights, the Civil Rights movement, etc.
2. Explore how and to what extent these themes continued to resonate and/or evolved –
expanded, receded, intensified, or changed – in American life in the decades since (1980s2010s). Include at least TWO (2) sources from D2L in the “Sources” folder, film
clips/handouts appearing in the “Lecture Slides” folder (but not individual lectures
themselves) for weeks 13-15, or the source you used for HW10. See folders for all eligible
sources, but for example, you might consider:
Cigelske, The Continuing Impact
Reagan, Speech to Nat. Assn. of Evangelicals
Morning in America ad shown in lecture
Reagan’s Approval Ratings and Iran-Contra
Reagan at Brandenburg gate clip
Bush, New World Order
Huntley, Who Won the Cold War?
Declaration for Global Democracy
MCI/Worldcom ad shown in lecture
National Security Strategy of the U.S.
Byrd, Speech on the War in Iraq
Iraq: Voices of the Fallen Newsweek
Branding of the Occupy Movement
Women in Combat articles
Snowden on Privacy
Ufford, 18 Years Ago I Helped Start a War
Veniste, Watergate Lawyer
Your HW10 source
You may include more than two sources where relevant and if there is room – there is no “limit”
on these. General references to lecture or Foner can help to provide context by they do not
“count” as one of the two required. If you want to use a specific image from lecture as a source,
seek specific advance approval from your TA. If you have questions about whether a given source
“counts” or not, please ask sooner rather than later. We are happy to help you sort this out.
3. Consider the role of journalists, the press, and the news media in shaping the national
dialogue in relation to the themes you’ve chosen. Both Dispatches and ATPM were widely
read publications by journalists that provided information and narratives for Americans to
assess Vietnam, Watergate, and the challenges they represented. How do you assess that
influence historically and how does your study of these books and themes shed light on the
role of journalism in our own time?
No minimum here, but sources you might draw on to develop your analysis include:
Baughman, Fall & Rise of Partisan Journalism
Tanz, Journalism Fights for Survival
Woodward & Bernstein, Nixon Was Far Worse
Schultz, What It Was Like
Cigelske, The Continuing Impact
Snowden on Privacy
Regarding outside sources: For any of these sections, we are not going to prohibit the use of
outside sources, but they are neither necessary nor recommended. This is not intended to be a
research exercise. You have all the materials you need (and then some) to write a successful
essay. Include an external source only if you feel it is crucially important to your argument, and
you can demonstrate that it is a reliable source. Make sure it does not take too much space or
attention away from your required focus on the book and course-based sources. External
sources have specific citation requirements – see last page for details. Lack of proper citations
for external sources may result in a deduction of your grade.
Important: This is not a summary or book review, but rather an analytical essay that uses the
book to illuminate some central themes in recent American history. Focus on the issues you
choose rather than attempting to summarize the book as a whole. Simple book summaries that
fail to analyze themes in relation to the prompt, required components and course materials will
not earn a passing grade.

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