The Cold War
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HWH52
Duration: 12 sessions (over 13 weeks)
What is the course about?
Explore how the "Grand Alliance" of the USA, Britain and the USSR degenerated into a Cold War that divided Europe for forty years. See where the Cold War got hot in other parts of the world.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The origins of the Cold War: relations between The Soviet Union and ‘the west’ in the years leading up to the end of the Second World War
- The divisions of Europe into two ‘blocs’: the Truman Plan, Marshall Aid and the problem of Berlin
- The Cold War gets hot: i) Korea and Vietnam ii) Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean
- The arms race and the Cuban Missile Crisis
- Dissidence in the eastern bloc: including Hungarian and Polish risings and the ‘Prague Spring’
- Efforts to reduce tensions: détente and ‘Ostpolitik’
- Events leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall; Solidarity in Poland; the role of Gorbachev and other key players in the USA and Europe in ending the Cold War.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Describe why the Cold War began and why and how it ended
- Discuss the effects of the Cold War on people’s lives
- Explain how the Cold War brought conflict to many parts of the world.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an `introductory` course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course. You will gain more from the course, in terms of enjoyment and learning, if you are able and willing to do some supplementary reading. As with most of our history and current affairs courses, intellectual curiosity and an open mind are more important than specific previous knowledge.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Illustrated lectures, with maps and images. We will also look at relevant texts from the period (in translation where appropriate). There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and join in discussions.
You will not need to do any preparation for the classes, but you will be given a book list in case you wish to take
your studies further.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will find a notebook (or electronic device) useful if you wish to make notes. Some lively books will be recommended (though not required).
Optional Suggested Readings:
The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction (2003) Robert J McMahon; Oxford paperback
Cold War (1998, 2008), Jeremy Isaacs and Taylor Downing; illustrated edition Bantam 1998, paperback Abacus 2008.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
For information about other world history courses, please visit the college website: www.citylit.ac.uk.