Americas

Pox Americana: Beyond American Studies and the ‘Special Relationship’

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Prof. Scott Lucas                                                                                                 

www.libertas.bham.ac.uk

 

With no further ado, American Studies in five episodes:

 

EPISODE 1: WE’RE NUMBER ONE

 

A young boy grows in the US South of the 1960s. His overriding impression, reinforced by parents, church, television, and (his childhood obsession) sports, is how lucky he is to have been born American. He could have been born to starve in India or to suffer under Communism in China or to endure the decaying Old World of Europe but, no, he has been born in America, the Number One country in the whole world.

 

EPISODE 2: A COLD WAR CITY

 

Did I mention that the young boy lives in Huntsville, Alabama? Huntsville is a city of the Cold War. In 1950, it was a pokey cotton town of 15,000 people, little more than farms, mills, and hardware stores. Then the US Government brought the German scientists in, allegedly because Huntsville’s hills look like those of Bavaria, equally likely because the military base in the southwest quadrant of town offered plenty of land to test fire missiles and rockets. By 1962, when the Apollo launcher that Huntsville developed took Alan Shepard beyond the stratosphere, when our missiles were readied to hit Cuba if the Soviet didn’t withdraw theirs, the population was 75,000.

 

 

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