chicago style on the book Experience History: Interpreting american’s past

1. Discuss your assessment of the authors thesis. What is he trying to present to thereader, how is he trying to do so, and why does he believe his perspective is useful toour understanding of the broader subject? Do you find his approach compelling?2. The author provides only limited historical background when combined with yourexisting knowledge of the 1960s and the Johnson Administration, did you find itsufficient? Did you think the specific examples given in the early chapters were wellchosen, in that they supported the authors contentions?3. The sources referenced make clear that there were many factors and forces at workduring 1968. What were these, and do the sources make clear why they wereimportant? How much can we infer about the big picture from these individualperspectives?4. How, if at all, does the inclusion of photographs from the period support the authorsapproach?5. Based on what youve read so far, what do you expect from the rest of the book? Didthe first few chapters provide a good sense of what the author intends to present lateron, or is it vague or unclear?
1. Consider your understanding of the author’s thesis. In the context of this, think aboutthe events described in each chapter thus far – how do they support yourunderstanding of the thesis? What specific details of LBJ’s handling of these eventsmight be useful in making your assessment of the author’s work?2. How did LBJ’s decision not to seek reelection in 1968 affect his actions after the 31March speech? Did the lack of need for votes in November alter the way he governed,or did he continue on mostly as before?3. How did Johnson handle the assassinations of King and Kennedy in the spring of1968? How did the public’s views of these two men differ from LBJ’s? Did Johnson’spublic statements and private views differ, and if so, how and why?4. By the end of the summer, Johnson had faced both domestic and foreign crises, someof his own making. How did his approach to situations he helped to create (Vietnam,the Fortas affair) differ from those that occurred largely without his influence(Czechoslovakia, the MLK and RFK assassinations)?
1. How did LBJ handle the events of his last few months in office? Would his actions havebeen different earlier in the year? How, if at all, did he change over the course of theyear?2. Now that you have completed the book, what is your overall assessment? Did yourinitial thoughts about the thesis hold up? Did the author achieve his purpose as youunderstand it? Did he make a convincing argument in favor of his thesis? What made itconvincing or not?3. No book review can cover every subject contained in the book being assessed. Whattopics were most effective in making the author’s case? Which were less so?4. Is this a book primarily about the history of 1968, or is it first a time-limited biography ofLyndon Johnson? What is the relationship between the year and the president? Howdoes understanding one aspect of this help to understand the other?5. Viewed from today’s perspective more than fifty years later, how should we view thelast year of Johnson’s presidency? Is our modern view different from the view of peopleat the time? Why or why not?6. To whom would you recommend this book, and why? What are the strong and weakpoints of it? What would make it betterThe post chicago style on the book Experience History: Interpreting american’s past



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