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America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years

Survey the past 30 years of the American story to understand our world today.
America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 37.
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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Professor doesn't know the name of countries When Yugoslavia broke up, one of the counties was created was North Macedonia. The professor, in classic British superiority tone, refers to it with a slight simplified name! Perhaps for British people the exact names of the countries are not important unless it's North Ireland not Ireland..
Date published: 2024-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good course, but perhaps too forgiving. We have a very good account of the what, but very little of the why. The West was victorious in the Cold War, but was this a result of clever U.S. strategy and resolve? Or was it merely a consequence of Boris Yeltsin’s coup against Mikhail Gorbachev? Was the Clinton administration’s eastward expansion of NATO necessary? Or was it a strategic blunder, prompting Vladimir Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and war in the Donbas? Yes, al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. on 9/11, but why? What were Osama bin Laden’s grievances? Why did the U.S. foment civil war in Syria? Did the National Endowment for Democracy’s efforts to peel Ukraine away from the Russian Federation lead to the 2022 Biden-Zelensky war? Did U.S. failure to restrain Israel, an expansionist nuclear-armed regional power, provoke the Palestinians to attack on 7 October 2023? And in the orient, why did the U.S. shift from the Nixon administration’s successful One China policy to confrontation over Taiwan? I understand why Prof. Allitt cannot address the why-questions in such a short course. The answers would lead to the who-questions. What factions, foreign and domestic, are behind the series of disastrous policy decisions that squandered our Cold War victory? And is democracy itself, being manipulated by powerful special interests? Can there even be an informed body-politic in an age when print newspapers are rare? Going deeper than a simple recital of history is a dangerous business in this age of divisive politics. Still, this is a fine course and very worth the thinking student’s time. HWF and ISF, Mesa AZ.
Date published: 2024-02-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course! This is another well-researched, well-articulated course by Prof Alitt. It is 12-lecture comprehensive summary of poltical history, american views on global affairs and social changes in last 30 years. I'd recommend this course for politics students, history buffs and general public alike.
Date published: 2024-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This course is a difficult scholarly task The study of, and commentary on, "recent history" subjects the scholar to intense scrutiny and second guessing on account of "real time" events directly linked to topics thought to be "settled history" but, in fact, still in a state of flux and seeking resolution. And so it is with this program's series of lectures. Many course "attendees" will disagree with this or that point of discussion, for certain. Also, the short length of the program (i.e. "only" twelve lectures") demands a "high, or macro, level" approach to the topics covered as well as hard decisions as to what topics will, in fact, be covered. Nonetheless, this course of study can "seed" much constructive thought and possible reconsideration of events in the not-so-distant past.
Date published: 2022-06-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Brief overview of America during the last 30 years This course did not impress me. It's basically a recap of the last 30 years of American political history with some glaring omissions. Listing the policies and actions of the last four Presidents the course reminded me of a special I might view on a cable news channel. The course does include lectures on American education and cultural impact but both those subjects were underserved. Also, the creation of Homeland Security, the militarization of the police, and the cyber state are all ignored. More time is spent on the Monica Lewinsky affair than any of these subjects. Also, N.A.F.T.A., the rise of China, and other significant social changes are ignored. I enjoyed this course because I lived through these times and it was brief but there is very little here for me to recommend it.
Date published: 2022-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I really like Professor Allitt very much and have several courses of him. However, I was disappointed with the last chapter. I think it would be good for GREAT COURSES to re-do some of their courses when new evidence has come out. I noticed the slant towards the Democrats in some of the courses
Date published: 2022-04-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Generally good, but a few disappointments For the most oart I did enjoy professor Allit's course. He re-told the history of post Cold War as I remembered it adding a few facts I did not know, However I was very put off by his describing the evidence against Justice Brett Kavanaugh as "credible". It as not. It was totally based on uncorroborated hearsay. One of the purveyors of that despicable smear campaign is on his way to jail. Sadly it did taint my appreciation of the course.
Date published: 2021-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very interesting course by outstanding professor. I took virtually every course by Dr. Patrick N. Allitt on this site. And each of them was brilliant in my opinion. This course proves that History is a science about the past. It is hard for a historian to analyze the modern days. Personal preferences and political ideas have too much influence even on the best historians. Nevertheless I really like this course and highly recommend it.
Date published: 2021-10-09
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Overview

America after the Cold War: The First Thirty Years offers you the chance to step back and look at the complex and ever-evolving story of the United States from 1990 to 2019. Taught by esteemed professor and Great Courses favorite Dr. Patrick Allitt of Emory University, these 12 fascinating lectures tie all the threads of contemporary life together and give you a rich understanding of the world we live in today.

About

Patrick N. Allitt

We live in a world that has created many new incentives for us to become lifelong learners. Luckily, lifelong learning is a pleasure.

INSTITUTION

Emory University

Patrick N. Allitt is Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University, where he has taught since 1988. He received his PhD in American History from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Divinity School and Princeton University. He is a widely published author whose books include A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism; The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History; and Religion in America since 1945: A History.

By This Professor

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America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years
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America after the Cold War: The First 30 Years

Trailer

1990: America’s New World Order

01: 1990: America’s New World Order

The end of the Cold War was an inflection point in history. No one expected the rapid collapse of the Soviet Union, but starting with the fall of the Berlin Wall, everything changed. Delve into the American story in the early 1990s, when conflicts in Kuwait and Bosnia tested America’s new role in a post-Soviet world.

29 min
The Clintons and the 1990s

02: The Clintons and the 1990s

Bill Clinton’s presidency dominated the domestic news in the 1990s. From his dramatic showdown with Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congress’s “Contract with America” to the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Clinton’s subsequent impeachment trial, this was a presidency of high drama. Survey this tumultuous decade in American history.

29 min
A New Millennium, George W. Bush, and 9/11

03: A New Millennium, George W. Bush, and 9/11

The end of the Cold War may have reshaped the world order, but 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror completely transformed America. Go back to the contested election of 2000 and trace the events leading up to the terrorist attack on American soil on September 11, 2001. Learn why 19 hijackers of three airplanes attacked America, and what happened next.

28 min
The US Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

04: The US Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

Historians will long discuss and debate the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As you will learn here, the war in Afghanistan had some justification, given the role of al-Qaeda in 9/11. Professor Allitt also reviews the facts surrounding the war in Iraq—the path to war, the deterioration on the ground, and the war’s effect on the United States.

29 min
The US Economy: Long Boom to Big Crash

05: The US Economy: Long Boom to Big Crash

The 1990s through the mid-2000s have been called the “great moderation,” a period of generally low inflation and stable growth. Within that period, the dot-com boom and bust created ripples, but it was the mortgage crisis that struck a seismic blow to the U.S. economy. Witness the booms and busts of this fascinating period in business.

28 min
Obama, Hope, and Polarization

06: Obama, Hope, and Polarization

In 2008, America was tired of war and entering a deep recession. President Obama was seen as a beacon of hope, yet his administration soon ran into intractable foreign and domestic challenges. Examine the major events of his presidency, from the bank bailouts and health care reform to the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS.

28 min
African American Paradoxes after 1990

07: African American Paradoxes after 1990

Despite progress from the Civil Rights movement a generation earlier, race is a dominant theme in American history through the 1990s and 2000s. Here, Professor Allitt investigates the paradoxes and racial conflicts of the last 30 years, from the Rodney King riots to the Black Lives Matter movement. He also spotlights positive developments.

27 min
Science and Technology in the Internet Age

08: Science and Technology in the Internet Age

The last 30 years of American history have been a golden age of inventions. The personal computer, social media, the smart phone, and apps have changed everything about how we operate in the world. Meanwhile, scientists of all kinds—astronomers, paleontologists, geneticists—have redefined our understanding of humans and our place in the universe.

29 min
US Energy Independence and Climate Change

09: US Energy Independence and Climate Change

Industrialization requires energy, but energy comes with a host of negative side effects, from local pollution to global climate change. Explore the shifting status of energy in the U.S. through the 1990s and 2000s, from the Kyoto Protocol to the IPCC and from “cap and trade” policy efforts to policies promoting solar, wind, and hydroelectric power.

30 min
Putting US Education to the Test after 1990

10: Putting US Education to the Test after 1990

Is America a society where no child is left behind? As this analysis of American policies toward education demonstrates, the U.S. education system leaves much to be desired, even as our universities remain among the very best in the world. From standardized tests to charter schools, take a tour of America’s school system.

30 min
A New Golden Age of American Culture

11: A New Golden Age of American Culture

From the old guard of Philip Roth and Saul Bellow to the next generation of novelists—Donna Tartt, Junot Diaz, Viet Thanh Nguyen—American fiction is livelier than ever. But it isn’t just books: Television, the visual arts, architecture, and even theater (with productions like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton) are enjoying an artistic golden age.

29 min
The Trump Upset

12: The Trump Upset

History truly is full of surprises—and is still being written. In this closing lecture, you’ll survey one of the most surprising political events in recent decades: the election of President Donald Trump. From his use of social media to controversial policies and more, review the milestones of Trump’s presidency (so far).

29 min