Archive for February 24th, 2012

Books on Utopias/Dystopias from our discussion today

I give you…. free books!

Utopia. Thomas More.
Erewhon. Samuel Butler.
1984. George Orwell.
Brave New World. Aldous Huxley.
Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury. (Sorry– no online version here, since the book is still under copyright.)

And I am shocked no one mentioned this one:
The Giver. Lois Lowry. (Once again, this book is still under copyright, but there is some interesting information here.)

In what ways were movements like the eugenics movement trying to create a “perfect” society? In what ways can this go wrong? How often is the creation of a dystopian society linked to attempts to limit the quest for knowledge and self-expression in this works?

What role does individualism play in the fight against fascism? How do fascist governments attempt to dismantle individual thought and limit knowledge?

Ooh, here’s some Indiana Jones fun:

What is the relationship between vocabulary and thinking? Here’s something that actually references 1984 in contemplating this connection:

Chapter 33 questions

1. What specific factors made Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt so compassionate toward the average man and woman? What specific experiences influenced their actions and roles in the White House?
2. What changes happened to the traditional constituencies supporting Democrats during the 1932 election, and why? What part of the Democratic platform that year was unrealistic?
3.How did FDR make use of the long lame duck period after his election? What political advantages did he have as he came into power? How did he out-maneuver Herbert Hoover (ooh, it rhymes!) during this time?
4. What were the major goals and accomplishments of the Hundred Days? What were the “3 Rs?” What was the first problem he attacked after taking office, and why did he give that priority?
5. What role did inflation play in his plans? Why?
6. What were the historical precedents for FDR’s early New Deal programs? Why was the NRA the most ambitious and controversial of his programs? Why did Harry Hopkins have so much influence? What eventually happened to the NRA?
7. Which program was considered the most radical, and why? What did it attempt to do? What specific criticisms were leveled against this program and by whom?
8. Which program was the most popular, and what short and long-term effects did it have?
9. Summarize the main criticisms of the New Deal from both the left and the right, including specific names and slogans involved.
10. Which specific women were most prominent in working for the New Deal? Explain what each one did (a chart might be a good idea).
11. What was the Agricultural Adjustment Act specifically attempting to do, and how? What eventually happened to the AAA?
12. How was the Constitution changed during the 1930s?
13. Many of FDR’s reforms were aimed at rural populations like those in Oklahoma, my home state. How did Oklahoma and its people become synonymous with suffering during the Great Depression. Consider economic, ecological, and literary factors. Include consideration of the Resettlement Administration, Route 66, and the San Joaquin Valley.
14. How did the New Deal attempt to restore stability to banking and the stock market? Be thorough in your answer.
15. What were the main provisions of the Social Security Act of 1935? How was this system different from the European model?
16. How, specifically, did the New Deal attempt to help workers? Explain the Wagner Act and the NLRB. Were there signs of a class struggle in America by 1936? Explain.
17. In what areas was FDR prevented from having complete control over the government? How did FDR attempt to neutralize the last bastions of resistance in the US government, and why did this plan fail?
18. What was the “Roosevelt recession?” What were the effects? When and why did the New Deal lose much of its momentum?
19. What are the basic beliefs of Keynesian economics? What impact did these theories have upon the US budget?
20. What was different between the First New Deal era of 1933-935 and the Second New Deal? Consider programs and popularity of those programs.
21. Was Roosevelt’s election an endorsement of his plan or a repudiation of Hoover’s Explain.
22. Why did the New Deal end by the late 1930s? What lasting effects did it have both politically and economically?
23. In what ways did FDR mirror the concerns of both Hamilton and Jefferson from the time of the birth of our nation?
24. Was the New Deal revolutionary or reactionary? Some claim that FDR was the savior of American capitalism, while others claim that he was a socialist. Explain.










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