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Summer 2018

Time Courses

American Studies 101 AC The Age of Monopoly
  • MTW 12-3
  • M. Cohen
  • 155 Kroeber
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 14116
Summer 2018 Session A 

First Great Depression, the United States of America transformed itself from an isolationist and agricultural country into the richest, most powerful nation in the world. This era is characterized by the stunning growth of industrial and finance capitalism and the seemingly insignificant birth of what quickly became the dominant institution in our world: the modern business corporation. The building of vast corporate monopolies in money, steel, tobacco, movies, food, oil, electricity, organized crime, etc. reorganized every aspect of American life and culture from our cities to our sports, from our politics to our popular entertainment. The Age of Monopoly represents the birth of modern America, and with these great changes came epic social, sexual and racial conflicts characterized by the often violent clash of labor and capital, the repression of African American rights and the triumph of white supremacy, the cataclysmic end to 400 years of Indian wars, the challenge of feminism and the New Woman, the confrontation of Americans with the rest of the world in the form of mass immigration and imperial expansion, the rise of major reform and revolutionary movements, and the growth of state institutions dedicated to stopping them. The focus of this class will be to consider the economic and political changes of the Age of Monopoly through a study of its culture, for it was this half-century that gave birth to modern American culture in the form of illustrated magazines and comic strips, world's fairs and amusement parks, Wild West shows and vaudeville, the advertising and public relations industry, window shopping and department stores, skyscrapers and national parks, military buildups and IQ tests, talk radio and Jazz music, automobiles and suburbs, and most importantly, the Hollywood movie.