Archive for October, 2011

New phone charger

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

As I was looking over some techy news I came across a avery interesting article about car chargers for your phone.  There is a new product called a Ray solar charger which you can attach to pretty much anything.  It can be put on a car window, an airplane window, or outside on a table.  As long as It is out in the sun, and your phone is plugged in it will charge it.  This sounded absolutely amazing and could totally change the way we think of charging devices.  We are always so reliant on having a plug to charge our phones and this could totally change that.  This could make access to charging our phones more accessible and change some of our electrical dependancy and I think it has some real potential.

Chakrabarty- A Small History of Subaltern Studies

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Chakrabarty’s A Small History of Subaltern Studies is a review article in which he takes a Marxist approach to class analysis. The term subaltern refers to the study of the homeless, the oppressed, the poor, etc. Throughout history there have been a wide array of subaltern peoples that can be studied, including slaves, native americans, women in general, Holocaust victims, indigenous populations of territories that were conquered and colonized and the early American colonists as well. All of these people were considered oppressed by some higher form.  Considering this article is primarily focused on Indian history, Chakrabarty mentions the ideas of nationalism and colonialism in his essay as being the two major areas of research and debate defining the field of modern Indian history in the 1960′s and 1970′s. For many years, India was colonized and controlled by the British and it was referred to as the Crown Jewel of the British Empire. One historian, Bipan Chandra viewed Indian history of the colonial period as being “an epic battle between the forces of nationalism and those of colonialism” (5). To understand this difference, it is important to have a general background of the history of India and to be familiar with concepts of nationalism and colonialism.

Final Lit Review- Rosie the Riveter Icon

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Lindsey Smith

HIST 299


Lit Review Final


Women played a vital role during World War II in the combined Allied war effort against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan. They quickly made transitions from their roles of homemakers and mothers to the roles of women in the workforce.  During the period between 1941 and 1945, the United States government issued various forms of propaganda to entice these women to leave their homes and enter into the workforce.  These women took on various jobs including steel work, shipbuilding and various forms of factory work. One of the most notable and successful campaigns utilized was the Rosie the Riveter campaign.  This campaign was the epitome of gender transgression and it helped to not only persuade women to leave the domestic realm and take on masculine jobs, but also to change the perspectives of women when viewing the workforce as a man’s sphere. There is an abundance of literature that exists referencing the campaign; however, there seems to be an obvious trend that none of these sources pre-date the 1980’s. This phenomenon is most likely contributed to the post-feminist movement that took place in the 1980’s and continued on through the early 1990’s, during which many women were protesting for equal rights and equal pay amongst men, the same injustices that working women of the 1940’s  were succumbed to.

            Although the image of Rosie the Riveter almost always comes to mind when imagining the women behind the scenes of World War II, according to Karen Anderson’s 1981 Wartime Women this was not the case.  “Because more American women remained homemakers during the war, Rosie was not the typical wartime woman.[1]  Anderson’s book is not the first work to address this little known fact.  Both women’s history authors D’Ann Campbell and Susan Hartmann reference in their works that the Rosie the Riveter image has “distorted the analysis of the nature of wartime changes.” [2] In further support of the misconception of all women in the United States joining the workforce, Sherna Berger Gluck stated in her 1987 book Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Women, the War and Social Change that “three-fourths of the homemakers themselves thought they could best contribute to the war effort by continuing to do what they were doing.” [3] The Rosie the Riveter image is commonly seen as an empowering force on women but how powerful was this image when it was first introduced? According to both the 2001 American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States and Penny Coleman’s Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Homefront in World War II, the original Rosie the Riveter image was a creation of Norman Rockwell and not the traditional image of the beautiful woman advertising the slogan “We Can Do It!” In an effort to launch the propaganda campaign, the United States government released the latter image a few months after Rockwell’s Rosie image graced the cover of the May 29, 1943 edition of the Saturday Evening Post.[4]

            In the 1982 book The Homefront and Beyond: American Women in the 1940’s, Susan Hartmann examined the new roles these wartime women were establishing and she mentions three conditions that helped to bring about these changes.  First, women were replacing men only for the duration of the war.  Second, “women would retain their femininity while performing masculine duties” and finally, the media emphasized the feminine motivations behind women joining in the war effort, contradictory to the traditional patriotic values. “In the public image, women took war jobs to bring their men home more quickly and to help make the world a more secure place for their children.” [5] Miriam Frank, Marilyn Ziebarth and Connie Field help to fortify Hartmann’s assertions by describing a popular newsreel of the 1940’s that was used as a propaganda technique. In this newsreel, an attractive actress is shown working hard and taking a job because the nation was “in a jam.” The narrator goes on to state “Somehow that answer pleased us. No sudden emotional urge sent this young woman into war work. No loss of a loved one. No temporary economic embarrassment.” [6] This provides evidence that there were multiple reasons as to why women joined the labor movement.

When the war was over, women were expected to give up their manual labor jobs and return back home to readjust to their normal household duties.  When the men were returning home from war, they needed their jobs back.  According to Mark Jonathan Harris, Franklin D. Mitchell and Steven J. Schecter in their 1984 book The Homefront: America during World War II “a 1944 Labor Department study reported that eighty percent of the women interviewed desired to continue working and in the same kind of job after the war.” [7]  To further support their arguments, Maureen Honey (who is a prominent women’s history scholar in the field of propaganda and women during World War II) also stated in her 1984 book Creating Rosie the Riveter: Class, Gender and Propaganda during World War II that “many women employed in defense plants wanted to keep their wartime jobs, including fifty percent of those who had previously bee homemakers, and that they resisted being channeled back into service and trade work.” [8]  Because the propaganda campaigns of the war included not only the enticement for women to join in the war effort, but after the war was over, various forms of media outlets and propaganda were used to push women back into the domestic sphere of life.  “Clearly, economic imperatives and the fulfillment of doing skilled work exerted a greater influence on women who had advanced during the war than did propaganda or private fantasies.” [9]  There were many contributing factors as to why so many women were hesitant to leave their blue-collar laboring jobs after the war; however, money was the major incentive.  According to D’Ann Campbell’s 1984 Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era, the average national teacher’s salary was $1,441 in 1940, and in more rural areas, the amount would have been half of that.  Blue-collar workers had the prospective of making twice the amount of a city teacher, and four times the amount of a rural teacher.[10]  Given these extreme differences, it is easy to understand why these factory working, skilled labor women chose to remain doing manual labor jobs.  However, Campbell also introduces other overwhelming statistics.  In 1943, only one in eight women considered factory work as being acceptable, and typically, it was only acceptable for those women with no higher than an elementary education, which consisted of 37 percent of the population.[11]  According to Campbell, socio-economic factors played major roles in contributing to the ways women viewed certain jobs.  Not only were education and class important, but race as well; however, propaganda that was used catered more towards white women versus women of color or minority status.  She also stated “the heavy doses of government inspired media propaganda on the joys of manual labor obviously did not carry much credibility.” [12]

 Contrary to popular beliefs, not all women were compelled to join the workforce for the same reasons during World War II.  Although propaganda and media focused on the patriotism aspects and persuading women to help their husbands overseas, according to an abundance of research, money was a major incentive in driving women into the workforce, or at the very least it was the main factor in contributing to women staying within once the war had come to an end.  How did the Rosie the Riveter icon gain so much popularity and how was this campaign able to sway so many women (if it did indeed sway them)? Common trends amongst the writers of the various sources that have been used are their qualifications in the subject of women’s history. Karen Anderson, D’Ann Campbell, Connie Field, Sherna Gluck, Susan Hartmann and Maureen Honey are all prominent women’s historians and they have each all commented and critiqued on each other’s works, if not helped to contribute. Their combined works spread throughout a decade almost, beginning in 1981 and ending in 1987. These sources are very credible and provide extensive information on the overly general topic of women in the workforce during World War II. Each author also provides a detailed bibliography which can help the prospective researcher discover more information on the topic.










American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States. Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2001.


Anderson, Karen. Wartime Women: Sex Roles, Family Relations and the Status of Women during World War II. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1981.


Campbell, D’Ann. Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984.


Colman, Penny. Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Homefront in World War II. New York: Crown Publishers, 1995.


Field, Connie. (Producer and Director). The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter. Emeryville: Clarity Educational Productions, 1982.


Frank, Miriam, Marilyn Ziebarth and Connie Field. The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter: The Story of Three Million Working Women during World War II. Emeryville: Clarity Educational Productions, 1982.


Gluck, Sherna Berger. Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Women, the War and Social Change. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987.


Harris, Mark Jonathan, Franklin D. Mitchell and Steven J. Schechter. The Homefront: America during World War II. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1984.


Hartmann, Susan M. The Homefront and Beyond: American Women in the 1940’s. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982.


Honey, Maureen. Creating Rosie the Riveter: Class, Gender, and Propaganda during World War II. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1984.

[1] Karen Anderson, Wartime Women: Sex Roles, Family Relations and the Status of Women during World War II (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1981), 10-11.

[2] Ibid., 10. D’Ann Campbell is the author of Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era and Susan Hartmann is the author of The Homefront and Beyond: American Women in the 1940’s.  All three of these publications were printed within 4 years of each other, and the authors mention each other within the acknowledgements.

[3] Sherna Berger Gluck, Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Women, the War and Social Change (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987), 12-13.

[4] American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2001), 5 and Penny Coleman, Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Homefront in World War II (New York: Crown Publishers, 1995), 15.

[5] Susan Hartmann, The Homefront and Beyond: American Women in the 1940’s (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982), 23.

[6] Miriam Frank, Marilyn Ziebarth and Connie Field, The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter: The Story of Three Million Women Working during World War II (Emeryville: Clarity Educational Productions, 1982), 92.

Connie Field, The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (Emeryville: Clarity Educational Productions, 1982) film

[7] Mark Jonathan Harris and Franklin D. Mitchell and Steven J. Schechter, The Homefront: America during World War II (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1984), 118.

[8] Maureen Honey, Creating Rosie the Riveter: Class, Gender and Propaganda during World War II (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1984), 11.

[9] Ibid, 11.

[10] D’Ann Campbell, Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984), 104.

[11] Ibid., 113.

[12] Ibid.

Chakrabarty Article

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

One sentence that struck me most out of this article was a summary of what historian Chandra said about India: “Chandra argued that colonialism was a regressive force that distorted all developments in India’s society and polity. The social, political, and economic ills of post-Independence India–including those of mass poverty and religious and caste conflict- could be blamed on the political economy of colonialism. ”

I thought that this was very astute, and seemingly this phenomenon can be seen in many other cases of colonialism. Not only did this happen in India, but it also happened in Africa, where colonial borders put cultural, ethnic, and religious adversaries in the same country and territory. So that Chandra says this of India’s ties with colonialism is not surprising because this is seen historically and geographically across the world. This is often the cause of unrest in a given colonial area.

Joan Scott Article

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Joan Scott’s article on Gender history was very informative in the different types and origins of gender history. Since I am in Dr. McClurken’s US History of Women course, it’s very interesting to see the different views on gender history.  It was also useful to see the Marxist view of gender history, now that we have reviewed general Marxist theory in HIST 299.

I did just a little bit of research on Joan Scott, and it seems that she has been a breakthrough gender historian in the twentieth century.  She has challenged traditional historical thought, and it is evident in this article. She challenges many schools of thought, such as the patriarchal historical approach.

Overall, I enjoyed the article and I found it useful in better understanding the gender historical approach.

Final Literary Review

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Rachel Tippett

Literature Review

 An extraordinary event occurred in Denmark during WWII that led to the evacuation of 95% of its Jewish population prior to Nazi invasion.  A grassroots force known as the Danish Resistance Movement enabled the escape of over 7,000 people into Sweden on October 1st and 2nd 1943.  Coming into being after Nazi arrival in April 1940, the movement grew out of increasing apprehension of Danes towards the occupying force.  The movement’s actions during the war cannot be confined solely to this event, yet the near flawless escape is seen as the ultimate success for the cause.  Sources offer a variety of theories on the buildup to the escape in October 1943, but appear to have a general consensus about the necessity behind its occurrence.

It is how these sources demonstrate those events and opportunities, which enabled the escape plan that a visible division between authors becomes prevalent. Older writers incorporated a personal bias towards the war and German actions, while more recent writers utilized a focus that is unaltered by the war.   Literature produced predating 1980, focused steadily on Nazi destruction and the implications initiated by the German wartime regime.[1] This divide between these sources can be simply broken down to the emotional removal the authors had from WWII. In contrast, literature after 1980 does not suggest a harbored resentment towards the war but instead focused on the actions of the Danish citizens.  Separating from a blatant awareness of Nazi terror, recent authors based their writings around the Danes of WWII, in an attempt to achieve more relatable content for modern times.

Tippett 2

The early literature on Denmark during WWII begins with 1947’s A History of Denmarkby John Danstrup where there is a clear recognition of the Danish Resistance Movement’s efforts yet they are overshadowed by Nazi retaliation.  In response to the Jewish evacuation in 1943 Jones stated “…German terror had also been started against the resistance movement…One well-known Danish citizen after another was murdered, selected from a list which the Germans had drawn up”.[2]  Concluding that, although noble, the actions of the resistance movement were ineffective against the German authority.   This idea of complete Nazi control is furthered in Palle Lauring’s A History of the Kingdom of Denmark, published in 1960, where cause and effect came into play when discussing the actions taken between the Danish Resistance Movement and the Germans occupying Denmark.  It is clear that the movement’s acts of retaliation, especially the escape, were seen as betrayal towards the Axis Powers and were reprimanded by severe punishment that carries broad implications such as curfews and literary censorship.[3] Suggesting that the movement was powerless in its struggle for control, with the Nazis being able to dictate German ideals through law and terror.

The formation of Danish resentment is found within Earl F. Ziemke’s The German Northern Theatre Operations 1940-1945 (1959) where in 1939, “German Foreign Ministries instructed is ministers…to inform those governments in clear, but decidedly friendly terms” that Germany intended to respect their integrity…It had made a


Tippett 3

similar declaration to the Danish Government a week earlier”.[4]  This understanding contradicted German actions and enforced the idea that Denmark was a powerless victim to Hitler.  Thus, leading to Denmark (1970) by W. Glyn Jones where the escape is presented as the ultimate act of defiance.  Danes are portrayed as weak, and the escape was viewed as necessity to flee from the tyrannical power of the Nazis.  What is clear is the extent to which the Nazis went to obtain supreme control over Denmark, even declaring a state of emergency to gain power, was limitless in the attempt to create a subservient population.[5]

In contrast to the theory of older writers, that Danes were helpless victims to the panic implemented by the Nazi regime came the literature after 1980 that empowered Danes.  In the 1998 article by Kisch Conrad, “The Jewish Community in Denmark: History and Present Status”, the idea of nation wide resistance was a major factor in Denmark during WWII emerged.  Like previous authors, Conrad viewed the movement as a sign of Danish defiance towards the Axis Powers, but goes on to cite the resignation of Danish political figures as a strategic maneuver countering the idea of Nazi overthrow. [6] This idea that the Danes were indirectly controlling their own fates is a dramatic shift from previous literature, and demonstrates the profound impact that the movement was able to have against the governing authority.  A 1994 case study titled Strategic Nonviolent Conflictby Peter Ackerman and Chris Kruegler pushed forward this

Tippett 4

assumption of Danish control with idea that resistance was a not just necessary but a legal right for the Danes.  Listed are legal policies that Danes wanted to be honored throughout German occupancy, one being the continued cultural survival of all citizens.[7]  German encroachment legally validated the Danish resistance and the escape plan, which under such policies, where within the legal limits of Danish citizens. 

Building on the idea of indirect Danish power, came literature that took an individualistic perspective as demonstrated in Emmy Werner’s Conspiracy of Decency (2002) and Ellen Levine’s Darkness Over Denmark (2002).  Levine quoted the chairman of the Social Democrats youth group saying, “ Now we have to fight the German” with another chairman’s response of, “There are seventy-five million of them and only four and half million of us” applying the point that Danes understood that their movement was insignificant in size yet still were willing to undertake necessary action.[8] By addressing the personal views of movement participants, Levine is able to shift the thinking from Danes as victims to socially aware rebels.  Another contradiction is introduced when Werner utilized the testimony of one refugee that presented the idea that Nazi control was not necessarily as oppressive to the resistance as thought.  Stating,  “The German soldier

with their bayonets…they were walking on top of the boat…To this day I think that the Germans must have know…that we were there”.[9]

However, the movement’s success is tied to close bonds that united its members and essentially Denmark during the war.   Presented in opposing articles “The Bridge

Tippett 5

over the Oresund” (1994) by Gunnar S. Paulsson and “Denmark: A Light in the Darkness of the Holocaust?” (1994) by Hans Kirchhoff, was the argument that the highly developed resistance movement was superior to Nazi organization.  Although, scholars have proven Paulsson’s primary to be untrue, the idea that Nazis were fearful of the rise in underground activity demonstrated the power that Danes had.[10] Along the same lines, Kirchhoff, who contested Paulsson’s primary idea, approached the subject of Danish unity through a cultural standpoint.  Kirchhoff cites Denmark as being culturally accepting in addition to being a “highly assimilated” population that was resistant to fracturing by Nazi policy.[11]  In this it can be assumed that internally Danes continuously maintained the upper hand during the occupation, denouncing the view of inferiority in relation to Germans.

What can be drawn from all of these sources is that the Danish Resistance Movement was a unique event in the context of WWII.   This core idea prevails within the literature on the Danish Resistance even with a recognizable amount of bias included by the authors.  It is clear that bias of older writers is directly drawn from personal experiences with WWII and that recent writer’s bias is from a secondhand perception of the war.  The contrast between the authors creates an encompassing view of the Danish Resistance that implies a multitude of reasons for the acts of rebellion. Whether the escape in October 1943 was the result of Danish initiative or Nazi oppression, this act of defiance was seen as a necessity to save Danish citizens.

[1] John Danstrup, A History of Denmark (Denmark: Behrndt & Co. Bogtrykkeri, 1947), 187-189. Destruction included the break down of the Danish government system including the police force with an attempt to remove laws that preserved Denmark’s stance on neutrality and peace.

[2] Ibid., 186.

[3] Palle Lauring, A History of the Kingdom of Denmark (Copenhagen: Host & Son, 1960), 247-251.  The prime reason for occupation in Denmark was for access to Norway and because of Nazi hope for an Aryan bond with the country.

[4] Earl F. Ziemke, The German Northern Theatre of Operations 1940-1945 (Washington DC: Department of the Army, 1959), 1-3, 251.

[5] W. Glyn Jones, Denmark (Great Britain: Praeger Publishers, 1970), 173-181. The August 29, 1943 State of Emergency was to disband the Danish Army in an attempt to quell the uprising.

[6] Conrad Kisch, “ The Jewish Community in Denmark: History and Present Status,”Business Library, Spring 1998.;content (accessed September 18, 2011).

[7]  Peter Ackerman and Christopher Kruegler, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict (London: Praeger, 1994), 213-248. It also details the agreement made during the forced Danish signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact that if signed Germans could not demand any Anti-Jewish legislation in Denmark.

[8] Ellen Levin, Darkness Over Denmark (New York: Holiday Boulder: Westview House, 2000), 35.

[9] Emmy Werner, A Conspiracy of Decency (Press, 2002), 80.

[10] Gunnar S. Paulsson, “ The Bridge Over the Oresund,” Journal of Contemporary History, July 1995, 433-445.  Paulsson’s theory suggests that Jews were allowed to get away by the Nazi’s due to the commanders lack of experience and knowledge in raiding Jewish communities.

[11] Hans Kirchhoff, “Denmark: A Light in the Darkness of the Holocaust?,” Journal of Contemporary History ,July 1995, 465-469.



Ackerman, Peter and Christopher Kruegler, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: The Dynamics of People Power in the Twentieth Century. London: Praeger,1994.

Bamberger, Niels. “Denmark Personal History,” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 1989. (Accessed September 18, 2011).

Bamberger, Tove Schoenbaum. “Denmark Personal History,” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 1989. (Accessed September 18, 2011).

Cantor, Karen and Camilla Kjærulff . “The Danish Solution.” Hulu Website. 2003. (Accessed September 18, 2011).

Danstrup, John.  A History of Denmark. Denmark: Behrndt & Co. Bogtrykkeri, 1947.

Donde, Leif. “Denmark Personal History,” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 1989. (Accessed September 18, 2011).

Grossman, Mary. “So It Does Not Happen Again”. JH Weekly, February 10-16, 2009, 11-13.

Jones, W. Glyn. Denmark. Great Britain: Praeger Publishers, 1970.

Kirchhoff, Hans. “Denmark: A Light in the Darkness of the Holocaust? A Reply to Gunnar S. Paulsson.” Journal of Contemporary History, no. 30 (1995): 465-479.

Kisch, Conrad. “The Jewish Community in Denmark: History and Present Status.” Judaism.;content (accessed September 18, 2011).

Lauring, Palle. A History of the Kingdom of Denmark. Trans. David Hohnen. Copenhagen: Host & Son, 1960.

Levine, Ellen. Darkness Over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews. New York: Holiday House, 2000.

Meissner, “Denmark Personal History.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 1989. (Accessed September 18, 2011).

Munch-Nielsen, Preben. “1933-1949 Personal History.” (accessed September 18, 2011).

Paulsson, Gunnar S. “The ‘Bridge over the Oresund’: The Historiography on the Expulsion of the Jews from Nazi-Occupied Denmark.” Journal of Contemporary History30, no. 3 (1995): 431-464.

Werner, Emmy E. A Conspiracy of Decency: The Rescue of the Danish Jews During World War II. Boulder: Westview Press, 2002.

Ziemke, Earl F. The German Northern Theatre of Operations 1940-1945. Washington DC: Department of the Army, 1959.

Literary Review

Monday, October 24th, 2011

In 1953, Middle Eastern oil was a booming market that was vital to an increasingly globalized international market. When Mohammad Mossadeq was democratically elected to be the Prime Minister of Iran in 1951 he wanted to nationalize the oil industry and take the control away from the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which was a British company. The British and the United States feared the loss of access to affordable oil. Therefore, the British Security Service, the MI5, and the United States’ CIA organized a coup to overthrow Mossadeq to ensure that they would continue to have access to affordable oil. This coup is known as Operation AJAX. As time has elapsed since the Operation, the literature regarding it has changed significantly. Contemporaries did not view oil as the primary issue of Operation Ajax. In the 1980’s however, the discussion begins to change. Between 1980 and 2009, some scholars continued to assert that Operation Ajax must be viewed as a coup that was motivated by fear of Mossadeq’s close relationship with Moscow while others claim access to cheap oil was a greater motivation.

In the early 1980s the oil boom was in full swing, and the United States depended on foreign oil tremendously. People began writing secondary sources about Operation AJAX in the early 1980s because the Shah was overthrown in a coup in 1979. The literature regarding Operation AJAX primarily blamed the influence of the oil companies and the strong need for foreign oil on the interference in Iran. In Amin Saikal’s book, The Rise and Fall of the Shah, published in 1980, he discussed how important oil was to the United States. “In October 1953 John Foster Dulles commissioned Herbert Hoover Jr., a petroleum advisor and the son of the ex-president, to find a solution for the Anglo-Iranian dispute, but to make sure that this time the U.S. companies had a share in the Iranian oil industry.”1 This took place a mere two months after the overthrow of Mossadeq, and this action exemplifies exactly why Saikal thought the United States meddled in Iranian affairs. According to John D. Stempel’s 1981 book, in Inside the Iranian Revolution, “five U.S. corporations joined other oil companies to form the National Iranian Oil Company consortium. Though Iran would receive 50 percent of the profits, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Socony-Mobil, and Gulf Oil acquired a 40 percent share of the oil production..the U.S. could substantially influence Iranian oil policy.”2 Obviously oil brought in huge revenue for the United States and both Saikal and Stempel argued that oil was the reason the United States went into Iran to overthrow Mossadeq. This point is further discussed in Nikki R. Keddie’s 1981 book, Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran. “The United States was increasingly hostile to nationalization, and the American oil companies joined an unofficial but effective worldwide major-oil-campanies’ boycott of Iranian oil, sparked by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company after nationalization was declared.”3 All three of these authors believe that oil was the deciding factor to overthrow Mossadeq.

In the early 1990s the argument that the coup was undertaken to impose a friendly regime in Iran was pre-eminent. Louise L’Estrange Fawcett argued the beginnings of a different idea in her 1992 book, Iran and the Cold War: The Azerbaijan Crisis of 1946. Events “also helped to draw together the different threads of an emergent Cold War policy: one grounded on changing perceptions of its wartime allies and of the United States’ own world role.”4 Her book was written immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, so it is unsurprising that literature from that time would pay greater attention to the Soviet Union. She argues that the United States not only feared Mossadeq’s Marxist leanings, but the threat of a Soviet occupation of Iran. The United States “shared Britain’s concern about the possible outcome of the Soviet occupation, but concern would not be followed by action until the Soviet threat assumed far larger proportions, and coincided with the realization of Soviet aspirations in other areas.”5 Fawcett’s argument differs tremendously from Keddie, Stempel, and Saikal of the 1980s. While post-Watergate and post-Vietnam malaise may help to explain the cynicism of American foreign relations scholars in the 1980s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 may help to explain why the role of communism garnered more attention from scholars in the early 1990s.

Presently, the United States leads a unipolar world in which it invests heavily in projecting power and influence abroad. In the literature during the 2000s (all of them are after September 11, 2001), United States foreign policy was the key argument for our reasons to organize Operation AJAX. Mohammad Mossadeq was an Iranian nationalist, and certainly no friend of Britain and the United States. Meanwhile, the Shah of Iran was seen as a pawn for Western interests. Malcolm Byrne writes in the introduction to his 2004 book with Mark J. Gasiorowski, Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran, “the hopes of the Truman administration and even President Eisenhower that the United States would be seen as the defender of regional aspirations for independence began to seem especially hollow after August 1953…U.S. planners treated TPAJAX as a model for future clandestine operations.”6 Clearly Byrne believed that the United States wanted to implement a leader in Iran who was pro-Western and would cater to the demands of the United States. Similarly, Gholam Reza Afkhami wrote in his 2009 book, The Life and Times of the Shah, that “there were Americans who favored the military as the nexus of U.S.-Iranian relations to assure U.S. security imperatives.”7 During the 1950s the main and most dangerous enemy to the United States was the Soviet Union. The sources written in the 2000s focused on that rivalry, and focused on the security threat posed by the Soviet Union. “In January 1950 the National Security Council prepared a seminal document that asserted the need for the United States to confront communist movements in regions of vital security interests.”8 Obviously after September 11, 2001, security was a driving force in American society, so it makes sense that Afkhami and his contemporaries focus on national security in explaining Operation AJAX.

The overthrow of Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953 was a watershed moment in the 20th century, for resentment of the Shah culminated in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The literature of the topic has changed since the early 1980s. When secondary literature first started appearing about Operation AJAX, oil was most often cited as the impetus for the operation. However, as time elapsed, the theses of the books started to shift views of why the United States organized a coup in Iran. By 2009, scholars were paying more attention to broader security concerns, undoubtedly because of the greater focus on national security among scholars in the post-9/11 world.


1Amin Saikal, The Rise and Fall of the Shah (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980), 48.

2John D. Stempel, Inside the Iranian Revolution (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1981), 65.

3Nikki R. Keddie, Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981), 134.

4Louise L’Estrange Fawcett, Iran and the Cold War: The Azerbaijan Crisis of 1946 (Cambridge, New York, Port Chester, Melbourne, Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 108.

5Fawcett, Iran and the Cold War, 115.

6Malcolm Byrne and Mark J. Gasiorowski, Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2004), Introduction 15. This information is also portrayed in a different book. Although the wording is not the same, the points resonate in both sources.

Ali M. Ansari, Modern Iran Since 1921 (London, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited, 2003), 135-139.

7Gholam Reza Afkhami, The Life and Times of the Shah (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2009), 215.

8Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003), 84-85.

Chankrabarty- A Small History of Subaltern Studies

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

In this brief article Chankrabarty argues the historiography trends associated with India are framed through a post-colonial British view point. Historians before the end of British colonial rule continually wrote that India simply benefited from being ruled. They were brought into the industrial age. But in the 60s more nationalistic historians began to point out the struggle of being ruled and the history from their own standpoint. The concept of Subaltern Studies grew out of the historians that wrote on behalf of the oppressed group, in this case India.

Lit Review Final

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Josh Furnary

Hist. 299


Literature Review

            On July 4th, 1946 the largest pogrom in Polish history took place in the town of Kielce.[1] Upwards of forty Jews were killed either by stoning, beating, or shooting in a massive citywide massacre. What caused the attacks and motivated the all day pogrom against Jews is a question still greatly debated. More profound than the actual catalyst that instigated the pogrom, the false accusation of blood libeling, are the potential big actors behind the scenes. The literature holds rather consistent that in the earlier years the pogrom was thought to be instigated by the Polish Communist Party (PPR). The significance of the PPR’s motives varied in each of the works, lacking a single specific consensus. But as the years passed, the literature shifted more broadly to place blame more towards the Polish Peoples Party (PSL) and the anti-Semitism they displayed. The vast majority of arguments fall within these two groups, while only a handful present different standpoints.

Starting in 1948 two very critical and known figures of the era published books relating to the Kielce Pogrom, kicking off the argument of placing blame just two years after the events took place. Arthur Bliss Lane argued in his 1948 book I Saw Poland Betrayed that the PPR was responsible because they stood to gain the most from the pogrom, overshadowing the media coverage that was exposing their rigged referendum just five days prior.[2] Bliss Lane was writing as an extremely informed source because at the time of the pogrom he was the US ambassador to Poland. He resigned less than six months after the pogrom when he saw the complete communist transition of Poland into a puppet state. Bliss Lane put the practical fault on the Communist party, but he also went a step further appointing moral obligation on the Catholic church as well. He believed the pogrom would not have taken place if Cardinal Hlond and the clergy in Kielce took action to calm the crowd.[3] Stanislaw Mikolajcyk, the former leader of the Polish Peoples Party released a very similar verdict of the pogrom in his 1948 book The Rape of Poland. As the head of the nationalistic party, he was pushing extremely hard to expose the PPR’s falsified referendum by presenting data to western media outlets.[4] He viewed the attacks as being ordered from the top down in hopes of diverting the West from the bogus referendum.[5]

Again, in 1982 Michael Checinski, a former Polish intelligence officer, continued to put the blame on the communist party in his book Poland: Communism, Nationalism, and Anti-Semitism. Checinksi emphasized the Soviets ability to benefit from the pogrom through how they framed the events. The Soviets were able to tighten their own grip on security by calling into question the Poles failure to put down the Pogrom. They capitalized on the perception that the Poles inability to maintain law and order during the pogrom resulted in the necessity for a stronger, more centralized Soviet presence in Poland.[6] Checinski also quoted Bliss Lane and his construction of the referendum cover-up as a motive for the PPR to instigate the pogrom.

Lane, Mikolajcyk, Checinski, and even Jan T. Gross in his 2006 book Fear all found motives founded in the PPR. By 2006 Gross recognized that the PPR noticed strong anti-Semitism within the gentile Polish population and likely withheld preventative action during the pogrom in order to seem more connected to the minds of the people.[7] Although it was not Gross’s main argument, it did signify the Soviet motive behind the pogrom.

In 1982, Stewart Steven, an English journalist, began the ground work for a movement away from directly Communist related motives towards more anti-Semitic and nationalistic ones in his book The Poles. Steven put the blame on the Jewish Communists who were returning from the USSR after WWII. For the most part, Steven asserted gentile Poles saw the Jews deriving their  power within the new Poland as a result of their time spent exiled in the USSR during the war, even though practically the claims were false.[8]

By 2004 Anita Prazmowska put forth the argument in her book A History of Poland that unlike most historians such as Bliss Lane, Steven, Mikolajcyk, or Checinski, blame for the pogrom really lies in the legitimacy effort of the PSL.[9] She claimed that lawlessness arose out of the nationalistic movement of the PSL, led by Mikolajczyk.[10] Joanna Michlic, a Professor of Polish-Jewish history at Lehigh, also supported this idea that the nationalistic movement instigated the pogrom in her 2006 book Poland’s Threatening Other. She recognized that anti-Semitism was so deeply engrained in Polish society that even school children did not want to associate with Jews.[11] This was significant because it meant for the PSL to gain legitimacy, it would need to garner support from the majority of Poles via anti-Semitic mobilization, even if they themselves did not uphold anti-Semitic views.

The shift of blame from the communist backed actors to the nationalist movement ended over many years. All the sources share a similar story and debate amongst similar styles, yet none of the sources rely heavily on primary sources with the exception of Gross’s book Fear. They are mostly conjectural and broad looks at the motives and social history surrounding the Kielce Pogrom. Furthermore, there seems to be a lack of literature through the 50s, 60s, and 70s until interest sparked back up during the period of Soviet glasnost, or transparency. It is likely the Soviets kept that period of history under wraps, so that research could be continued only after the Soviet collapse.












Works Cited

Bliss Lane, Arthur.  I Saw Poland Betrayed: An American Ambassador Reports To The American People.                 New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1948.

Checinski, Michael. Poland: Communism, Nationalism, and Anti-Semitism. New York: Karz-Cohl                Publishing, 1982.

Gross, Jan T. Fear: Anti- Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz, An Essay in Historical Interpretation. New York: Random House, 2006.

Michlic Beata, Joanna. Poland’s Threatening Other: The Image of The Jew from 1880 to the Present.         Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006.

Mikolajczyk, Stanislaw. The Rape Of Poland: Pattern of Soviet Aggression. New York: McGraw-Hill Book                Company, 1948.

Prazmowska, Anita J. A History of Poland. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004.

Steven, Stewart. The Poles. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1982.



[1]   Anita J. Prazmowska, A History of Poland (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004), 191. The events actually took place on the 4th, but Prazmoska mistakenly says they took place July 23, 1946.

[2]   Arthur Bliss Lane, I Saw Poland Betrayed: An American Ambassador Reports To The American People (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1948), 249.

[3]   Ibid.

[4]   Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, The Rape of Poland: Pattern of Soviet Aggression (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1948),165-166.

[5]  Ibid, 167.

[6] Michael Checinski, Poland: Communism, Nationalism, and Anti-Semitism (New York: Karz-Cohl Publishing, 1982), 31-32.

[7]   Jan T. Gross, Fear: Anti- Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz, An Essay in Historical Interpretation (New York: Random House, 2006), 127-128.

[8]   Stewart Steven, The Poles (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1982), 307-308.

[9]   Anita J. Prazmowska, A History of Poland, 191.

[10]   Ibid, 191. Also, the Mikolajczyk mentioned is the same author of The Rape Of Poland: Pattern of Soviet Aggression.

[11]   Joanna Beata Michlic, Poland’s Threatening Other: The Image of The Jew from 1880 to the Present (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006), 234-236.

Literature Review Final

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

The study of eugenics has existed since 1882 when Sir Francis Galton first coined the term after studying the heredity of successful men in England. In America, the eugenics movement was a social movement striving to improve the genetic composition of the American population. At its peak in the early 20th century, the eugenics movement in America was basically the selective breeding of optimal bloodlines to produce genetically superior offspring. This ideal became popular prior to the Nazis’ eugenics of World War II.

Historians have broken the eugenics movement into two categories, positive and negative eugenics. Negative eugenics involves legislation and governmental pressure to enforce eugenic ideals. Methods of negative eugenics included forced sterilization of those deemed genetically unfit, marriage laws, and immigration laws. Positive eugenics, on the other hand, promoted the production of healthy babies through education and activism. Positive eugenic methods consisted of educating the public on eugenic ideals. These methods included fitter family and better baby contests, teaching eugenics as a science in public schools, and eugenic and marriage counselors.

A pattern is not discernible between sources written on the positive eugenics movement. The sources that have been found on the positive eugenics movement were written within the time frame of the late 1990s to the present, leaving a gap between the early 20th century and the early 21st century in which there appears to be a lack of literature written on the positive eugenics movement. This lack of literature can be attributed to there being little known about the subject and a narrow field of study associated with it.  We can also attribute this lack of  a discernable patter in the literature to the fact that the authors of the various works have different educational backgrounds and thus create differing perspectives and interpretations on the movement. These factors narrow the scope of literature written on the movement.

The gap of time between the height of the positive eugenics movement of the early 20th century and the majority of the literature written on the movement in the early 21st century may be attributed to the stigmas left by the Nazi’s extreme form of mass sterilization of groups of people who by Nazi standards they deemed inferior. This warped interpretation of American eugenics employed by the Nazi’s impeded the advancement of the United States’ eugenics movement. The loss of popularity in the movement because of stigmas created by the Nazi’s eugenics may have stigmatized eugenic writing up until the creation of Holocaust studies and memorials of the 1990s. These Holocaust studies and memorials forced Americans to reevaluate the United States role in Nazi eugenics by exploring the impact of eugenics on American society.[1]

The beginning of the modern eugenics movement with the Human Genome project in the early 21st century may have jump started the writing of secondary literature on the early 20th century positive eugenics movement. The start of the Human Genome project influenced further developments in the manipulation of genetics in the interests of creating superior offspring and created modern controversies over modern genetic selection.[2] With these controversies, historians have attempted to uncover the history behind the eugenics movement in the United States that had been relatively unknown up until the 1990s.

The differences in the perspectives and arguments of the various works of literature on the positive eugenics movement arose from the differing backgrounds of the various authors. These differing perspectives vary between health perspectives, eugenic perspectives, social perspectives, and regional perspectives.[3] These perspectives look to explain the reason behind the formation of better baby and fitter family contests in the early 1900s.

From social perspectives to scientific perspectives, authors on the positive eugenics movement differ widely in their writings on the movement. An example of the ways in which authors on the positive eugenics movement differ focuses of the works of Steven Selden and Laura Lovett. Steven Selden, an education professor at the University of Maryland and a proficient scholar of the American Eugenics Movement, writes about positive eugenics from a public health perspective and its influence on the public health system.[4] In a different vein Laura Lovett, a history professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst specializing in modern United States history, women’s history, and cultural history, writes about the social implications the eugenics movement had in rural America.[5] With these broad and differing backgrounds of the various authors who also wrote in the 21st century about positive eugenics, different interpretations on a single aspect of the eugenics movement are hard to find between the many sources.

Authors of literature on the positive eugenics movement pull from similar primary and secondary sources, and on occasion cite each other’s works. Even though the various authors use some of the same sources, their interpretations and arguments still vary greatly because of the different ways their educational backgrounds influence their interpretations of the sources.

Scholarly literature of the 21st century written on positive eugenics varies in their purpose because of the various author’s expertise and interests. Due to such a wide gap of time between when methods of positive eugenics were being implemented and when the majority of the secondary literature written on these methods were written, information on positive eugenics had gotten lost in the shuffle because of disinterest in the subject the lack of demand for primary sources pertaining to these contests until the regeneration of eugenic thought with the Human Genome project and social reforms of the 1990s.[6]


Works Cited

Holt, Marilyn Irvin. “Children’s Health and the Campaign for Better Babies.” Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains 28 (Autumn 2005): 174-187

Lovett, Laura L. “”Fitter Families for Future Firesides”: Florence Sherborn and Popular Eugenics.” The Public Historian 29, no. 3 (Summer 2007): 69-85.

Pernick, Martin S. “Eugenics and Public Health in American History.” American Journal of Public Health 87, no. 11 (November 1997): 1767-1772.

Pernick, Martin S. PhD, “Taking Better Baby Contests Seriously.” American Journal of Public Health 92, no. 5 (May 2005).

Pickens, Donald K. Eugenics and the Progressive, Nashville: Parthenon Press, 1968.

Selden, Steven. Inheriting Shame: The Story of Eugenics and Racism in America, New York: Teachers College Press, 1999.

Selden, Steven. “Transforming Better Babies into Fitter Families: Archival Resources and the History of the Eugenics Movement, 1908-1930” The American Philosophical Society 149, no. 2 (June 2005).

Stern, Alexandra Minna. Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in the Modern America, London: University of California Press, Ltd, 2005.

Stern, Alexandra Minn. “Making Better Babies: Public Health and Race Betterment in Indiana, 1920-1935.” American Journal of Public Health 92, no.5 (May 2002): 742-752.

Stern, Alexandra Minna. “We Cannot Make a Silk Purse Out of a Sow’s Ear”: Eugenics in the Hoosier Heartland.” Indiana Magazine of History, no. 1 (March 2007), 1-37.

University of Vermont. “1990s-2000: Recovering Eugenics History: Recognition and Regret,” University of Vermont, (Accessed on October 20, 2011).

[1]   University of Vermont,”1990s-2000: Recovering Eugenic History: Recognition of and Regret,” University of Vermont, (Accessed on October 20, 2011).

[2]   Ibid.

[3]  Marilyn Irvin Holt, “Children’s Health and the Campaign for Better Babies,” Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains 28 (Autumn 2005):174-1772.

Laura L. Lovett, “’Fitter Families for Future Firesides’: Florence Sherborn and Popular Eugenics,” The Public Historian 29, no.3 (Summer 2007): 69-85.

Martin S. Pernick, PhD, “Taking Better Baby Contests Seriously,” American Journal of Public Health 92, no.5 (May 2005):707-708.

Martin S. Pernick, PhD, “Eugenics and Public Health in American History,” American Journal of Pubic Health 87, no.11 (November 1997):1767-1772.

Donald K. Pickens, Eugenics and the Progressive, Nashville: Parthenon Press, 1968.

Steven Selden, Inheriting Shame: The Story of Eugenics and Racism in America, New York: Teacher’s College Press, 1999.

Steven Selden, “Transforming Better Babies into Fitter Families: Archival Resources and the History of the Eugenics Movement, 1908-1930,” The American Philosophical Society 149, no.2 (June 2005).

Alexandra  Minna Stern, “’We Cannot Make a Silk Purse Out of a Sow’s Ear’: Eugenics in the Hoosier Heartland,” Indiana Magazine of History, no.1 (March 2007):1-37

Alexandra Minna Stern, Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in the Modern America, London: University of California Press, Ltd, 2005.

Alexandra Minna Stern, “Making Better Babies: Public Health and Race Betterment in Indiana, 1920-1935,” American Journal of Public Health 92, no.5 (May 2002):7420752.

[4] Steven Selden, “Transforming Better Babies into Fitter Families,” The American Philosophical Society, (June 2005).

Steven Selden, Inheriting Shame, (New York: Teacher’s College Press, 1999).

[5]   Laura L. Lovett, “’Fitter Families for Future Firesides,’” The Public Historian (Summer 2007): 69-85.

[6]  University of Vermont,”1990s-2000: Recovering Eugenic History: Recognition of and Regret,” University of Vermont, (Accessed on October 20, 2011).