Modern History

OFFERED 2022-2023!

  • Time: Wednesdays, 12:30 – 2:00 pm
  • Tuition: $60/month (10 months, August-May)
  • Location: Signal Mountain, Tennessee
  • Credit: 1 history credit
  • Prerequisites: Writing II or equivalent writing skills OR take Writing II in addition to this course; Also, because the ideas covered in Modern History and Literature need to be understood in light of the ideas of the previous historical eras, students must be able to demonstrate familiarity with ancient and medieval ideas before taking Modern History and/or Modern Literature.
  • Dual Credit Option through Bryan College: 3 hours of college credit
  • Grades: 11-12 only; Students in the Humane Letters Diploma Program should take Moderns in their senior year
  • Pairing:
  • Description: Students will learn about the formation of the modern world since the Reformation era. The course will primarily focus on European history but will demonstrate the significance of events in Europe for the United States and the world as well as the influence of the United States and the world on Europe.
  • Assessment: Each semester, students write two essays using classical essay structure and take two exams. At the conclusion of each semester, all students participate in Defense Day by giving a brief presentation on one of their essays and responding to questions from the audience.
  • Books Needed: (Hard copies are required; recommended editions/translations are listed below; For most of these books, we will not read the entire book but will look at key selections in context. Also, many of these books are not available online because they are still in copyright.)
    • REQUIRED FOR ALL:
      • Lewis, Abolition of Man (ISBN: 9780060652944, HarperCollins)
      • Machiavelli, The Prince (Recommended ISBN: 978-0140449150, Penguin)
      • Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Recommended ASIN: B01FGKZB48, Penguin)
      • Gilbert, Churchill: The Power of Words (ISBN: 978-0306821974)
      • Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago, vol. 1 (ASIN: 0061253715, Harper)
      • EITHER Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” in Why I Write (ISBN: 978-0143036357, Penguin) OR Havel, “Power of the Powerless” in Open Letters (ISBN: 978-0679738114, Vintage)
      • Jung Chang, Mao: The Unknown Story (ASIN: B017S2CLYK)
    • STUDENTS CHOOSE ONE FROM ***THREE*** OF THE TOPICS BELOW:
      • Seventeenth-century:
        • EITHER Milton, Areopagitica (Recommended ISBN: 978-0140439069, Penguin)
        • OR Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration (Recommended: ISBN: 978-0915145607, Hackett)
      • Enlightenment:
        • EITHER Rousseau, Basic Political Writings: Origin of Inequality, Social Contract (Recommended ASIN: B01182G6KG, Hackett)
        • OR Smith, Wealth of Nations (Recommended ISBN: 978-0879757052, Prometheus)
      • Holocaust:
        • EITHER Pilecki, Report from Auschwitz / The Auschwitz Volunteer (ISBN: 978-1607720102)
        • OR Szpilman, The Pianist (ISBN: 978-0312263768, Picador)
        • OR Mayer, They Thought They Were Free (ISBN: 978-0226525839, University of Chicago)
      • World War II – CHOOSE ONE:
        • The Longest Day — Cornelius Ryan
        • The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II — Gregory Freeman
        • The Few: The Story of the Battle of Britain in the Words of the Pilots — Dilip Sarkar
        • Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen — Lynn Homan and Thomas Reilly
        • A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II — Adam Makos and Larry Alexander
        • The Few: The American “Knights of the Air” Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain — Alex Kershaw
        • Shadows in the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II —Larry Alexander
        • The Royal Air Force in Texas — Tom Killebrew
        • Dunkirk: The British Evacuation — Robert Jackson
        • The Scarlet and the Black: The True Story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, Hero of the Vatican Underground — J. P. Gallagher
        • The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History—Robert Edsel
        • The Great Escape — Paul Brickhill
        • They Thought They Were Free — Milton Mayer
        • The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 — David S. Wyman
        • Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath —Herbert Hoover, George Nash (ed.)
        • Reach for the Sky: The Story of Douglas Bader, Legless Ace of the Battle of Britain —Paul Brickhill
        • Fight for the Sky: The Story of the Spitfire and Hurricane — Sir Douglas Bader;
        • The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis — Elizabeth Letts
        • Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man—Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic
        • Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal—James D. Hornfischer

Image – World War II aircraft at an airshow, Terrell, Texas – (c) Grace Hughbanks, 2010