Reform and Reaction
John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon held office during one of
the most tumultuous eras in American history. Looking first at foreign policy,
discuss the assumptions that Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon held and how they put
those assumptions into practice – be sure to give special attention to Soviet-
American relations and the Vietnam War. To what extent did Kennedy, Johnson, and
Nixon continue the policies established by Truman and Eisenhower?
Now look at the domestic policies of Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Discuss the
reform programs of Kennedy and Johnson, the extent of their successes, and the
degree to which Nixon tried to constrain the liberal agenda, if indeed there was
one. Be sure to give attention to the continuing civil rights movement, the rise
of the counterculture, and the conservative reaction that developed. And in your
analysis, discuss the role of the baby boom generation.
Some historians have argued that we can’t understand the 20th century without
understanding the impact of films. Though often dismissed as pure entertainment, a
throwaway medium, the movies have in fact altered, reflected, and shaped our
lives. This is especially true of the films produced since the end of World War II
in 1945. Having read Celluloid Mirrors, and viewed various films, discuss how they
have reflected the themes of the second half of the 20th century. How might
historians use films to enhance their knowledge and understanding of an era such
as this one?
Identify and give the significance of the following:
b. Betty Friedan
c. Cesar Chavez
e. The Warren Court
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