Monday, March 26, 2012

Have a great Spring Break!

As a final post, I'd just like to say thanks to all of you in the class. It was a really good quarter, and I had a wonderful time. Thanks again, and have a great Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Whiteboard Review for 2nd Half - 1973 to 2011

At the end of the 2nd review session for 1973 - 2011, I took some photos of the whiteboard, which I've stitched together as a PDF.

Hopefully this PDF will help with the review for the Final Exam (tomorrow morning at 8am).

I was hoping to do a screencast or a podcast to help add audio and more information to the material, but with the test tomorrow morning time is of the essence, and I haven't had enough time to experiment with those other options.

Please send me an email if you have any questions. Also, I encourage you to use the Wiki page on iLearn created by Professor Simmons, and form study groups if you have time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review Sessions

As a reminder, Professor Simmons will be having a special review session on Thursday, March 15th in CHUNG/ENGR2 138 from 8:40-9:30am.

Also, I'll be having a special review session as well. My review session will be the next day, on Friday, March 16th from 11:10-Noon in INTS1134.

Make sure to come with questions about the materials, and also, don't forget your Bluebooks.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

9-11 Aftermath - Delegate Essays

Here is the information for Delegates doing "9/11 Aftermath."

The readings for this week can be found on Professor Simmons' iLearn site.

I've included the PowerPoint presentation as a PDF download, this will make it easier to view the material on mobile devices (but it will take a second or two to download):
PDF of 9-11 Aftermath Section Presentation

Also, here's the link to the video we watched in class - clips from Generation Kill.

Here is the excerpt to focus on:

“The allegations of ill treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill treatment to which they were subjected while held in the C.I.A. program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
- Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross, February 2007

Here are the questions to help inform your essays:
1)  What is a jihad? How do militant Islamic movements such as Al Qaeda view jihad?
2)  Can we compare U.S. torture of terrorist suspects with the actions of European imperial powers in the era of decolonization?
3)  Can we compare United States’ actions following the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001 with covert operations and proxy wars during the Cold War? Or is this a completely new era?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Arab Nationalism and Political Islam: PowerPoint

Here's the PowerPoint for Arab Nationalism and Political Islam.

Also, here's a link to a news report from 1973 relating to the OPEC affair. This is not required, but I thought some of you might find it helpful. This news report is a little too optimistic, though, and rationing did become a major issue later on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Battle of Algiers movie - Decolonization delegates

The film for Decolonization, The Battle of Algiers, is no longer available on YouTube. This is certainly due to copyright issues, but there are a few other places to obtain the film.

UCR Library
First, there is a copy available at the Multimedia Library at UCR. The call number and info can be found at the following link: 

YouTube clips
This clip is the "dueling" French/FLN propaganda clip we watched in class:

The movie's trailer also has portions of the military briefing and the raid on the Casbah that we watched in class, interspersed with other scenes:

The links below are not free:
The movie is available via Hulu Plus:

(Thanks to TA Jennifer Thornton for putting these links together!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arab Nationalism/Political Islam - Delegate Essays

The readings for Arab Nationalism/Political Islam are listed on Professor Simmons' iLearn site.

Pay special attention to the Primary readings, and here are some excepts to focus on:

“[Arab nations] are strong …when we really understand… the ties binding us together, making our land a single region from which no part can withdraw and of which no part, like an isolated island, can be defended without defense of the whole.”    - Gamal Abdel Nasser

“Muslims the world over who believe in the truth of Islam, arise and gather beneath the banner of tauhid [divine unity] and the teachings of Islam! Repel the treacherous superpowers from your countries and your abundant resources. …Rely on the culture of Islam, resist Western imitation and stand on your own feet.”    - Ayatollah Khomeini

Here are the Discussion Questions:

1. What are the differences between Arab nationalism and political Islam?

2. How do Nasser and Khomeini see the U.S.? Are their attitudes similar?

3. How did the role of the Middle East in the world change in the second half of the 20th century?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Student Question on Decolonization: The Battle of Algiers film

Since one of my Sections wasn't able to view the movie for Decolonization in class, I thought I'd post some comments that I made about the movie.

Here is the link to the film: The Battle of Algiers (1966) - Gillo Pontecorvo

The Battle of Algiers is historical fiction - it isn't a live-film of the events, but its historical accuracy and feel contribute greatly to our understanding of the events as they occurred.

Beginning of the Film - first 7 minutes
In the beginning of the movie, there is an Algerian man being interrogated by the French. Consider how his interrogation is dehumanizing, for he is not only being asked questions, but broken down psychologically through torture. Recent historical events have pointed to the moral complexities of water-boarding as a form of interrogation and torture, so consider how both the torturer and the victim are dehumanized by the process. (The FLN also tortures French soldiers later in the movie, so both sides are responsible for the escalation of violence.)

This film is about the colonial occupation of Algeria coming to an end, but it is not a clean and tidy affair. France still wants to control Algeria, and many Algerians want no part of French rule. However, some Algerians see French rule as positive, they have greater access to Western markets, ideas, and capital, and they also have protection from the French government on an international level.

Sometimes it's easy to see who the "bad" guys are, versus the "good" guys, but in The Battle of Algiers it is very difficult to draw such distinctions. Consider who you think are the "good" guys - is it the rebel fighters, the FLN (National Liberation Front)? - or is it the French paratroopers (special forces units) brought in to bring order to a chaotic colonial property?

Regarding the above, the FLN and the French paratroopers...consider your answer, and how that relates to the current state of affairs in Iraq and Afghanistan. These two recent/current wars are not for colonial property, but the varied perspectives and social complexities have striking contrasts. Also, remember that The Battle of Algiers was shown by the Pentagon to American troops entering Iraq in 2003, this film is a benchmark in the training of counter insurgency (COIN).

55:35-1:00:45 (Lt. Col. Mathieu arrives and lectures)
This lecture explains in detail two major themes:
1. It shows how "humane" considerations were seen to get in the way of "policing."
2. It details the connections between FLN operatives.

The French paratroopers weren't "police," they were a type of special forces, military unit. So why did they have to "police"? (How effective were FLN guerrilla tactics?)

The FLN operatives are shown to communicate in distinct ways - how did they pass messages, and who did they know? (These entities are known today as "cells," but why?)

What type of war is the Battle of Algiers? It isn't total war, or chemical war, and it's not nuclear or conventional warfare. It's a "social war," a war for information, the management of a population, and control of the hearts and minds of a people.

1:08:30-1:10:33 (raid on the Casbah)
The men of Algiers, especially those supporting the FLN, have gone on a labor strike. The French forcefully put these men back to work in labor camps. How does this episode relate to other themes we've discussed in class so far?

(Re-entry of forced workers at the Casbah checkpoint; France vs FLN propaganda)
Notice the role of propaganda in this part of the film, but also the forms of resistance. Do the Algerians believe that France is their "motherland"? How are the people dressed, and what language are they speaking?

How is propaganda used by both sides? Besides the microphone, consider the role of the battle cry at the end of this clip, and how this is a non-technological form of propaganda.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Green Revolution - Delegate Essays

Here are the questions for those students working on the Green Revolution:

The "documents" for this week are:

"Green Revolution, "Wikipedia

The film, Food Inc.
(Food Inc. is available on Netflix as an "instant play" movie, you don't need the disc, and it can be watched on iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and computers. You can also sign up for a free Student/Prime account at and watch the film through Amazon as an "Instant Video" as well.)

Recommended: Chapter 2 from Omnivore's Dilemma (on iLearn)

PowerPoint of the questions.

Here are the questions from the PowerPoint, and you can view them at the link above as well.

1. What does the narrator mean when he talks about an "industrial food system"? Can you identify elements of mass production in food processing today?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of mass-produced food? The film shows two points of view; what are they, and what is yours?

3. How was the Green Revolution connected to WWII and the Cold War? What countries are involved, and what are their social, political, and economic relationships?

4. What are some of the social consequences of the Green Revolution?  How has it affected farmers, consumers, and the environment? How does the Green Revolution fit into some of the wider aspects of the class themes so far?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Decolonization - Delegate Essays

 Here is the info for those Delegates working on Decolonization:

The film we watched in class: The Battle of Algiers (1966) - Gillo Pontecorvo

We watched the first 7 minutes, and these specific sections:

55:35-1:00:45 (Lt. Col. Mathieu arrives and lectures)
1:08:30-1:10:33 (raid on Casbah)
1:15:29-1:17:36 (Re-entry of forced workers at Casbah checkpoint; France vs FLN propaganda)

PowerPoint of the questions

Here are the questions from the PowerPoint, and you can view them at the link above as well.

1)  Were violent tactics justified in an anti-colonial war of independence? Why do you think that some colonial peoples used nonviolent methods while others turned to guerrilla warfare?

2)  What does this document tell us about counterinsurgency?

3) In 2003 the U.S. Defense Department's Directorate for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict held a screening of this film. The invitation to the screening read, "How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range. Women plant bombs in cafes. Soon the entire Arab population builds to a mad fervor. Sound familiar? The French have a plan. It succeeds tactically, but fails strategically. To understand why, come to a rare showing of this film." Why did the Defense Department consider the film relevant in 2003? How might one compare the Battle of Algiers with the occupation of Iraq?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Office Hours - tomorrow

My office hours tomorrow have changed due to an afternoon conference.

Tomorrow (2/9/12) I will be in my office from 9:30 to 10:30am.
- this is a good thing if you have questions about the Midterm...

This change is also shown on the class calendar.

Thanks, and good luck on the exam tomorrow!

P.S. If you haven't given me a BlueBook yet, make sure to bring one tomorrow, I have a list of those who still owe a BlueBook - thanks.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Midterm Review Sessions

Professor Simmons (in case you don't already know) is having a review session in:

     Bourns Hall 118 on February 7th (Tuesday) from 8:10 - 9am

Professor Simmons' study session is not required, but if you have the time I suggest you go. And make sure to have lots of questions ready to ask.

Also, I will be having a study session as well, the next day:

     HMNSS 1404 on February 8th (Wednesday) from 10:10 - 11am

My study session isn't required either, but it's a good idea to come if you have time. And maybe some of you who can't make Professor Simmons' will have the extra opportunity to get another review in. Make sure to have some questions ready to go, don't be afraid to ask.

And thanks to everyone that responded to the poll, that's the reason I'm having one, because of the positive feedback :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Reminder: Delegate Essays

This is a general reminder for the Total War and Capitalism delegate essays, and some other info that applies to all delegates.

Total War delegate essays are due tonight, 1/30/12.

Capitalism delegate essays are also due this week, on the same day as your Section.

Please have these in to iLearn before 11pm.
       (11pm is the cutoff time for all assignments turned-in via iLearn)

The Short Papers have been graded, but they can't be returned until the TA's can collaborate with Professor Simmons, which should happen later this week.
All in all, the Short Papers went really well :)

Make sure to follow the instructions regarding Delegate essays on the Section website:

For page length, don't go over 4. You should be ending your essay at the bottom of the 3rd page, or the top of the 4th one. Writing a long paper is not nearly important as having a clear argument.

Since the Delegate Essays have a bibliography page, the footnotes can be more brief. For example, if you're citing the PBS website on "Total War," you can just make your footnote like this:
- Total War,

Then include more information in the bibliography (you can copy Professor Simmons' citation from her iLearn page). Like this:
- Community Television of Southern California, "The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century." 2004.

Please email me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Midterm Review poll

For the Tuesday Section (027) there will be two sessions of Midterm Review in class. The other Sections only get one Review because of the way the schedule works out.

Take the poll below and let me know if you'd like to do a special Midterm Review session. It's not required in any way, but it's a great way to brush-up on the materials for the Midterm. Even if you're in the Tuesday (027) Section you can still come.

Taking this poll will help me judge the demand and see what kind of space we need for the room.

I don't have a date yet, but I'm thinking in the morning before the exam would be good (Thursday, Feb 9th).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scientific Racism - Delegate Essays

Here is the info for Delegates assigned Week 3 - Scientific Racism.

Link to the online PowerPoint

Excerpt from the Primary Source - Eugenics Record Office, ca. 1927

“In a few words, then, if a race is to make progress along the lines of natural abilities, those in control must see to it that there shall be fit matings and many children among those most richly endowed by nature, and that hereditary defectives and degenerates shall not be permitted to reproduce at all. The accomplishment of these ends will require much effort and interest on the part of individual citizens. The State can be expected to take means to bring about these ends only when due pressure is brought to bear by aroused citizens. Thus law, science, social effort, individual enlightenment, and personal resolve - each has its part to play in working out the eugenical ideal, that is, in improving the inborn character and talents of succeeding generations.”

Questions for the Delegate Lecture and the Delegate Essay:

1. What is eugenics?

2. How did the the social elites involved in eugenics view the weaker elements of their societies?

3. What does this tell us about the relationship between science and politics in the twentieth century? Did the science of genetic inheritance lead necessarily to eugenic ideas?

4. The authors call for a central database of family records. Why are they concerned with genealogical records? What is so important about family information?

5. The eugenics movement thrived in the early 20th century in many countries including the US, Germany and Sweden. Why?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Student question on Genocide and New Imperialism

A student posed a question via email, and I thought I'd post the response here for any other students that might be thinking about this. My response is not the definitive answer on this subject, but it can provide some perspective in relation to our class readings.

Student question:
Had genocide been seen in New Imperialism (before WWI)?

My response:
This is sort of a complex question, but here it goes...

In "New Imperialism," no, not really.

Genocide is a political term that is loaded with meaning from the Holocaust in WWII. The idea is that extermination, systematic and deliberate, of a racial group is genocide. So in the context of New Imperialism, genocide would not be the term used for the poor and inhumane treatment of colonial peoples. Countries supporting the regime of New Imperialism were far more concerned with extracting raw materials, natural resources such as metal and rubber, than explicitly killing people. After all, if the New Imperialist powers started an extermination campaign there would be fewer people to produce the goods they wanted.

However, the question of if there was genocide is valid because of the lack of humane treatment, the number of deaths, and the destruction and loss of peoples, cultures, and ways of life. The main issue is whether this was the result of a "systematic" attempt at "extermination," and it was not.

It can be difficult to ascribe the term genocide to events before WWII, such as the Armenian Genocide in 1915 or so, because of historical perspective. There were events that can be called genocides that happened in the far distant past, such as Rome's destruction of Carthage in the Third Punic War of 146 BC, but that's so long ago that it's a question more for historians than anyone else. In contrast, the Armenian Genocide still haunts the present, and the government of Turkey refuses to apply that term to the death of the Armenians.

The term genocide also carries with it consequences, such a being deemed a "crime against humanity" and so on – as well as the possibility of monetary reparations. So the current governments of the old New Imperialist regimes, like France, England, and Belgium would never call what they did "genocide." For there to be a genocide, there has to be agreement on the perspective of the deaths. There's a fine line between "total war" where civilians are killed and a genocide, and at times it can be difficult to see the difference.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Capitalism Delegate Essays

Here is the info for Delegates doing Week 2 - Capitalism.

This is an except to focus on from Simone Weil's letter:

“…I have learnt quite a lot about the organization of a firm. It is inhuman; work broken down into small processes, and paid by the piece; relations between different units of the firm and different work processes organized in a purely bureaucratic way. One’s attention has nothing worthy to engage it, but on the contrary is constrained to fix itself, second by second, upon the same trivial problem, with only such variants as speeding up your output from 6 minutes to 5 for 50 pieces, or something of that sort….
In a general way, the temptation to give up thinking altogether is the most difficult one to resist in a life like this: one feels so clearly that it is the only way to stop suffering! …the situation itself automatically banishes rebellious feelings: to work with irritation would be to work badly and so condemn oneself to starvation; and leaving aside the work, there is no person to be a target for one’s irritation.”

Here are the questions to concentrate on for the Delegate Lecture and the Delegate Essays on Capitalism:
  • What is capitalism?
  • What are some of the psychological effects of factory work that Simone Weil identifies? What caused those effects?
  • How might changes in work under mass production have contributed to the crisis of capitalism of the 1930s?

Readings for Week 3 - Scientific Racism

I was going through the readings for this week and I noticed that the Eugenics Archive exhibitions are made with Adobe Flash. Flash won't run very well on tablets (iPad or otherwise), so I made some PDF's of the articles.

Here are all the readings for this week in PDF format:

Primary source:
Eugenics Institute brochure

Secondary Sources:
Eugenics Archives exhibits

USHMM Exhibition Narrative for Nazi Eugenics

Michael Addas - The Story of the World Wide Great Depression

No "optional" readings this week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wikipedia Blackout and Total War Delegate Papers

Professor Simmons has just posted an announcement on Wikipedia, but I thought I'd add it here as well:

Wikipedia will be having a blackout as a protest against the SOPA and PIPA bills currently going through Congress.

The blackout period will be 24 hours long, starting at 9pm tonight.

Here's the link regarding the blackout protest:


Also, here is the due date for the Week 1 Total War Delegate papers:

Monday, January 30th at 11pm via SafeAssign

This due date is extended a bit to give those very first delegates a little extra time to complete their essays on Total War. This is the same time for all Week 1 Total War delegates in all Sections.

If you'd like to turn in your essay earlier, that's fine too. This extension just gives the delegates on Total War more time so they can focus on the Short Paper, which is due on the 23rd.

This change is only for the very first delegates doing Total War, all other Delegate Essays will be due two weeks after the discussion in Section. Please send me an email if you have any questions.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Short Paper prompt and instructions

Here is the prompt for the first assignment, the Short Paper. This assignment is due on the iLearn Section website by 11pm January 23, 2012.

Write a 1-2 page paper on the following question:

Some historians consider New Imperialism (European colonization in the nineteenth century) as a “training ground” for World War I. Consider George Washington Williams’s “Open Letter to King Leopold,” as well as your other course readings. How did violence exerted by the great powers in context of New Imperialism differ from or resemble violence experienced during the First World War? Was New Imperialism a training ground for World War I? Why or why not?

Papers should present an argument and use evidence from the readings and discussion.

Papers will be evaluated according to:
• Quality and effectiveness of the argument
• Careful reading of the texts
• Convincing use of evidence in support of the argument
• Clear understanding of the key terms that the paper discusses or employs

Please give citations for each piece of evidence: in a footnote, provide a reference for your source. For example:

"Congo Free State." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 1 Jan 2007, 23:50 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 Jan 2007. Accessed [insert date here.] <>.

Make sure to include:
  • your name
  • number the pages
  • a snappy title
  • a clear Thesis Statement as the last sentence of the first paragraph
  • Use paragraphs to help compartmentalize your ideas (about 4-6 sentences each)
  • A normal font, like Times, and a normal font size of 12pt.
  • Regular margins, 1 inch is good, and double-spaced.
  • Cite historical evidence, any academic format is fine (historians use Chicago or Turabian)
  • Be specific with your examples, use specific historical names, dates, and places.
  • No title page is needed.
  • No bibliography page is needed (make sure the footnote has the info about the source)
Be aware of university policies and regulations concerning plagiarism, as posted on the class ilearn site. 

Readings for Week 2 - Capitalism

For those of you who don't have access to iLearn yet, I have posted the readings for "Week 2 - Capitalism" below. The information is copied from Professor Simmons' syllabus and iLearn site.

Primary reading:
Simone Weil, "Letters on the Factory"

Secondary reading:
Mass Production

Extra reading:
(Recommended by Professor Simmons)

Discussion section: Capitalism

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Welcome to History 20!

Hello and welcome to History 20!

I'm Steve Anderson, the Teaching Assistant for Sections 027, 033, 036, and 038 - Twentieth Century World History, with Professor Simmons.

Announcements about our Discussion Section will be made on this website. For this Section, you'll only be using iLearn to submit your papers via SafeAssign.

For the main class, Professor Simmons will be using iLearn to distribute reading materials and other information.

Across the top of this website are several pages, including the Syllabus, and other important information about the class. Please read each page carefully, and let me know if you have any questions.

My email is

Also, make sure and sign-up to "Follow by email" on the right side of the page → 

For our first Discussion Section class, you must read before hand.
Here is the reading for the first class on Total War, as copied from Professor Simmons' Syllabus and iLearn site.

Primary readings:
World War I images PDF
World War I PowerPoint
(For the WWI Images and PowerPoint, the pictures are the same, but the questions at the end are a little different. Use all the questions from both links to help you write your Delegate Essays.)

Primary Source: George Washington Williams, Open Letter to King Leopold

Primary Source: Jules Ferry (1832-1893): “On French Colonial Expansion, Speech Before the French Chamber of Deputies, March 28, 1884,” in Internet Modern History Sourcebook.

Secondary reading:

World War I
Community Television of Southern California, "The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century." 2004.
Read all the way through the site sequence, including "Prologue," #1-4 and "The Shaping of the 21st Century". Click on and read through at least two "Historian" commentaries in addition to the main site.

Extra Reading
(Recommended by Professor Simmons) - "Congo Free State"

Discussion section topic: Total War

Thanks, and I look forward to meeting each of you.