After WWII, Korea was divided in half at the 38th parallel. To the north were the Communists; to the south were the United Nations peacekeeping forces. In June 1950, North Korean soldiers backed by Soviet-built tanks poured across the parallel. The Korean conflict became on of the first expressions of the Cold War between Russia and America. It was an attempt to balance the power that had been thrown so badly out of alignment by WWII. But Korea would bring victory to neither side.
Germany is historically one of the most important of all nations. Since emerging from its days as a Roman province, Germany (including Prussia) has had a central role in European affairs. It has reached the heights in art, music, literature, and political power, yet it's also reached the depths in humiliating military defeat and partition. This presentation reviews the broad sweep of German history.
Two Treatises of Government is the most famous and influential defense of limited government ever published. Written during a period of increasing opposition to the restored English monarchy, this work was published anonymously in 1689. It is a classic account of natural rights, social contract, government by consent, and the right of revolution.
Civil Disobedience is Henry David Thoreau's argument for the deliberate violation of laws for reasons of conscience. Thoreau's concept is based on the belief that no law should command blind obedience, and that non-cooperation with unjust laws is both morally correct and socially beneficial.
Following World War II, the United States and Soviet Russia vied for dominance around the world in an intense contest called the Cold War. Both Korea and Vietnam felt the full brunt of this conflict, and each was divided into two ideologically opposed sectors; to the north, the Communists dominated, while to the south, the United States prevailed. In both countries, America would face her worst nightmare: a land war in Asia. It began in Korea but continued in Vietnam, where more than 58 thousand Americans would die.
By the end of World War I, Britain had promised control of Palestine to both Arabs and Jews. Each of these peoples claimed a longstanding right to the same piece of land, and violence was inevitable. This presentation examines how and why this magical land has become a virtual war zone.
"outstanding slice of history and politics"
With a culture dating back to at least 700 B.C., West Africa has a long and rich history. British influence after the 16th century, and especially in the 18th century, changed the region's course. By 1967, Nigeria was at war with itself, with the "Republic of Biafra" produced in Nigeria's eastern region. Over a million people perished. This is the story of Nigeria's struggle, which typifies the history and outlook of the West African region.
"Interesting but out of date."
More than half of the world's oil comes from Persian Gulf states. Political instability and religious strife here threaten to interrupt the world's economic routines. Two presentations examine the history of Persia, Iran's attempt to westernize, and the backlash of religiously fervent Moslems against the West and against each other.
"NOT a Persian Gulf states history!"
The "isle of poets and scholars" has known almost constant warfare for centuries. In 1920, it was divided into North and South; yet this purely political solution left a religious and cultural schism intact. This presentation follows Ireland's tragic course from St. Patrick to Britain's imposition of direct rule in 1974.
Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat, captured the essence of nineteenth-century America in his penetrating work, Democracy in America. The democratic concept of equality was emerging as a political reality in America, and it threatened the aristocracy of Europe; it produced a society of individualists hungry for self improvement. In this classic treatise, Tocqueville weighed the advantages of democracy against its dangers.
"Not bad, not great"
This rich culture of East Africa, known in the Bible as Abyssinia, claims descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Under a Marxist regime, however, this ancient people has suffered from famine and genocide. This presentation chronicles the heartbreak of Ethiopia, which mirrors many of the crises besieging the third-world countries of Africa.
In the fall of 1787, each of the 13 states assembled special conventions to consider ratification of a proposed Constitution of the United States. Without ratification by nine conventions, the Constitution would flounder: America would be a league of states, not one nation.
"Wow. Just wow."
In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill advocated individual liberty based on a philosophical concept called utilitarianism, or "the greatest happiness for the greater number". This intellectual tradition rejects natural rights, such as those in Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. Despite beginning with a different theoretical foundation than natural rights proponents, Mill reaches a similar conclusion, that diversity in individual thought and action ultimately benefits society.