May 16

Book Assignment #2 – 2018

Due Friday, 6/1 by 11:59 p.m.  500 words minimum.  

Please include the title of your book in your response.  

a. Summarize your reading for that part; also, this might be the part to examine bias in the book w/ specific examples.

b. Connect a historical thinking skill to your book segment – contextualization, comparison, change and continuity over time, synthesis, cause and effects, periodization (including turning points).

c. Connect your reading to something we’ve studied in APUSH.

d. Make predictions as to where your story will go (in your last assignment, this needs to be an evaluation – Give the book a grade – A, B, C, D, F – and a recommendation to keep the book for next year or ditch it and why).  This would also be where you can examine your connection (or lack thereof) to the characters or events.


Posted May 16, 2018 by geoffwickersham in category Uncategorized

55 thoughts on “Book Assignment #2 – 2018

  1. Jacob Ellenbogen

    This section of Game Change is all about the Republican Primary race, and is almost exclusively centered around John McCain. It is the story of a protagonist starting high and mighty, then being torn down and pushed up against the ropes, before realizing the secret to victory and making the comeback that he was destined to make. The book goes into detail about McCain, through his hands-off management of the campaign, letting the spending get out of control before finally taking the wheel and swerving away from the iceberg that is right in front of the ship that is his campaign. Out of money, with next to no staff, the media discounts McCain as a dead man walking, stripping him of almost all press coverage. This, however, is what McCain needed. The weak republican field of Rudy Giuliani (who crashed and burned), Mitt Romney, and a few other candidates tore each other to shreds while McCain laid low; but slowly and surely, he built a base, storming back out of nowhere to take New Hampshire and South Carolina, and stole Florida from the hands of Giuliani. The incredible thing is that throughout this process the McCain campaign had almost no money. From that point on, McCain was the frontrunner, albeit underfunded, and he had only a few real obstacles remaining: his war vote, which was looking better as the troop surge in Iraq worked out well, and the other was an alleged affair he’d had a few years prior, which was fervently denied by both alleged parties. Ultimately, he avoided major issues on both fronts and clinched the nomination.

    One synthesis connection that could be made to the McCain campaign is to the “silent majority” address given by Richard Nixon back in 1969. Nixon, dealing with Vietnam controversy, appealed to the “silent majority” to back up his position of staying in the war. McCain, while not president, appealed to the same “Silent Majority” by hitting the road on the campaign, doing town halls, and trying to connect with as many voters as he could. While McCain and Nixon reached out to the Silent Majority in different ways, they both did so with a degree of success.

    Another major connection between the McCain campaign and almost any time period in APUSH is the crass amount of overspending (overspeculation) done by the McCain campaign at the start. McCain’s initial team, trying to run a Bush style campaign, spent like crazy at the start. They overestimated how much money they were raising, and this led to a sort of internal self-destruction of the campaign, ordered by McCain; but McCain made sure to keep the foundations somewhat intact, and was able to rebuild his campaign in a way he pictured it. This is slightly different from the uncontrolled implosions of the US economy countless times, including, but not limited to: Depression of 1807 (Embargo act), Panic of 1819, Panic of 1837, Panic of 1857, Panic of 1893, The Great Depression, the 1973 oil crisis, and many more.

    The next section of the book is going to be about the general election, which again, while I was alive I don’t remember much about it. I know the great recession hit its lowest lows during this time, so I’m interested to see how that affected the campaign. Also, since I know that Obama inevitably will win the election, I am very curious to see where the McCain campaign went wrong. I’m very excited to learn more about the events and try to connect them to stuff that I might have the slightest memory of from that time.

  2. Sam Grasl

    Sam Grasl
    Mr. Wickersham, B16
    APUSH C, 5th

    Book Assignment #2 : The Autobiography of Malcolm X

    After Malcolm got situated in Boston, made a new best friend by the name Shorty, and received by his new hairstyle (a conk) by Shorty. Malcolm did nothing but dance and dance. But eventually, Malcolm he needed money, and so he got a job as a soda parlor at a local drugstore on the Hill where Malcolm and Ella lived (this choice made Ella very happy). It was there were he met Laura. “…, Laura lived in a house that was catercorner across the street from the drugstore. After a while, as soon as I saw her coming in, I’d start making a banana split. She was a real bug for them, and she came in late every afternoon- after school. I imagine I’d been shoving that ice cream dish under her nose for five or six weeks before somehow it began to sink in that she wasn’t like the rest. She was certainly the only Hill girl that came in there and acted in any way friendly and natural” (Malcolm X, 63). Every day when she came in, she would always bring a book, and never really talk, (this actually made Malcolm realize that he has been avoiding his education, and that he hasn’t even read the newspaper since he was in Lansing, Michigan). Malcolm would try to talk to her, and eventually after day after he broke down her walls. They became really good friends, and were slightly flirty. “It wasn’t long before she had stopped reading her books when she came in, and would just sit and eat and talk with me. And soon she began trying to get me to talk about myself. I was immediately sorry when I dropped that I had once thought about becoming a lawyer. She didn’t let me rest about that” (Malcolm X, 64). They ended to go to a lindy-hop dance together, and man could she (Laura) dance. This was an important event, for in order for Laura to go dancing (late a night) she had to lie to her Grandmother, which was something new to her; for Laura was always forced to follow strict rules, and was highly religious. Laura and Malcolm even competed in a few dance competitions, and the crowd absolutely loved her. And so did Ella, Ella completely fell in love with Laura, every moment Malcolm wasn’t with her(Laura), Ella would ask why, and when they were going out again. Eventually they did go out to dance again, but this time Laura decided to tell her Grandmother where she was actually going, an argument sparked and escalated very quickly, Laura ended it by storming out the house where Malcolm was waiting outside. That night both Malcolm and Laura dances their heart out, but after a while Malcolm became distracted while Laura was taking a breather. “…when i caught this fine blonde’s eyes … This one I’d never seen among the white girls who came to the Roseland black dances. She was eyeing me levelly. … It’s shameful to admit, but I had just about forotton Laura when she got loose from the mob and rushed up, big eyed- and stopped.I guess she saw what there was to see in that girls face- and mine- as we moved out to dance. I’m going to cal her Sophia” (Malcolm X, 70). Malcolm to Laura home and rushed back to the dance where Sophia was waiting. Malcolm never saw Laura ever again after that dance. He later learned that she went down a dark path, she began to constantly argue with her Grandmother and eventually left the house and dropped out of school (beforehand she was an high honors student entering her senior year of high school). She sold her body for money, became a close friend with liquor and eventually hated the sight of man for they ways they had treated he, and became a lesbian. But Malcolm at this time did not know this; he began to spend a whole lot of time with Sophia, he saw less and less time with Shorty and came home late at night or even early the next morning. He kept his relationship with Sophia a secret to Ella. Although Ella did not know, everyone else seemed to notice, and Malcolm’s (nicknamed “Red” because of his hair) sored. By this time, America’s involvement in the WWII has just started. Since Sophia never knew Malcolm’s real age, she assumed that he was draft age and did many things to help him to not get drafted. She helped Malcolm to get a job at the train station, a job that involved constant motion, meaning no address. During his time Malcolm learned how to kiss a**, to the white people, and sold anything and everything; he learned who to make friends with and who to stay on their good side in order to make his work life much easier. This job lead to Malcolm to New York, where he discovered a type of black culture he had never seen before, in Harlem. It was here in Harlem where he became a bartender(underage) and met many singer and gangsters. An interesting thing was that these hustlers and flat out crime lords took Malcolm under their wing.

    In this segment of the Autobiography, of shows a large amount of comparison. Specifically the comparison of gangsters, how they made their fortunes and their success and level of seriousness. In the chapter “Detroit Red”, is filled with comparison. Malcolm speaks of how people gambled, and who had the most success, and how they reacted when they “won”. He talked how they would strategically place their bets, and count the deck. One comparison Malcolm made, was how criminals sold their stock of items. On page 89, Malcolm spoke about the fabulous Forty Thieves gang. A very well dressed “businessman”, who could get you custom, high quality, designer made and tailored to you suit for half the price you pay at any clothing store. Their secret was, you guessed it… stealing. Every day, a member of this organization would walk into a store roughly an hour before its closing and find a hiding place, and stay there until everyone left, and wait for when no one was looking and take all the suits and simply leave, and run to the van waiting outside of the store (all within the police patrol gap). And on page 90, he spoke about the Longshoremen, who took the leftovers of white weapons dealers and etc., they sold the best marijuana according to Malcolm.

    This book currently can be tied into the Second World War, for it showed how people would attempt to escape to draft. He (Malcolm) “escaped” the WWII draft by taking a job at a train station, where he would be constantly moving. “Anyway, at the railroad personnel hiring in office down on Dover Street, a tired-acting old white clerk got down to the crucial point, when I came to sign up. ‘Age, Little?’ When I told him ‘Twenty-one,’ he never lifted his pencil from his pencil. I knew I had the job” (Malcolm X, 74). Another way people attempted to get out of the draft was “taking some stuff that, it was said, would make your heart sound defective to the draft board doctors” (Malcolm X, 74). People of color such as Shorty and Malcolm did what they could to avoid the draft not because they did not wish to fight for America, but because they felt they never had America in the first place, so why should “we” fight for it. “Shorty felt about the war the same way I and most ghetto Ne***es did: ‘Whitey owns everything. He wants us to go and bleed for him? Let him fight.’” (Malcolm X, 74).

    My prediction for the book is that either Malcolm would be asked by a crime lord for help with something and Malcolm would get caught because of some reason that doesn’t involve the actual crime. Or that Malcolm will meet a “good” crime lord that helps fellow black people and makes sure they get treated correctly. And somehow this man would inspire Malcolm to do the same, help the people. But since Malcolm doesn’t have any real money, he would have to use is words to help the world. During this segment of the book, i would give it a grade of a low “B”. For although it was a good read, it had times were it became redundant and had a lack of suspense or excitement. But I highly recommend to keep reading for this is where Malcolm’s true self and story begins.

  3. Graham

    Graham Hupp
    The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc
    Douglas Brinkley
    As you venture deeper into the novel The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc by Douglas Brinkley, you get into the more nitty gritty on the battalion’s insurgency on the axis nazi forces within Pointe Du Hoc on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) the story goes into depth on the true “bad-assery” of these brave men who selflessly ventured into the “dark” to protect our freedoms with even soldiers fighting such as the religious father praying and telling the soldiers that if they pray on the battlefield he will kick them as they are there to fight and not to pray. The true extent of how brave these men are is that as they slowly made their approach to the cliffs for the raid on the German 135mm guns, a large quantity of the soldiers had died or were rushed back to the hospital due to faulty boats as they were sunk into the icy depths of the water either killing them or sparing them with the curse of hypothermia and not able to help their brothers-in-arm. The said men that made it past the sinking however, were faced with another dilemma as the vital climbing ropes to get up the cliffs were soaked in water meaning that they were heavier and could not be launched up to the length previously thought which was a very large problem for the soldiers as the raid could not go as planned at all if the proper solutions were not executed. Situations like this show the true bravery of these soldiers as they did not worry when their fellow brothers had fallen off the boat as they knew they were expendable and even after the first said dilemma, they were faced with another challenge that they had to fix almost immediately as it would determine the rest of the mission and even with the problems, these soldiers persevered because it was their duty to their country and they were taught for years by their captain for situations such as they ones they were in now so they were heavily trained for this which made them complete said solutions with machine like accuracy and efficiency because that’s what they had been turned into. Well oiled machine that could complete any and every task for their country if need be. This ties in to what we had learned as this raid was very important to the soldiers who took part in the direct raid on the beaches of normandy because the 135mm guns that were being destroyed by the battalion would have provided a large cover fire to the beach which in turn may have not made the D-Day raids successful which could possibly change the outcome of the United States we know today. I predict that as the story goes on that we will begin to see the in depth destruction of the 135mm guns that were destroyed by the company but also the missions following after the first original mission because surely there was not only one mission that the company had during the largest amphibious assault in history (D-Day)

  4. Jana Dinkeloo

    Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

    1.)This section of Assassination Vacation focuses in on Charles Guiteau, the murderer of James Garfield. First she talks about how Garfield died and how long it took him to die. Once he was shot, he didn’t die immediately, it took him 2 and a half months to actually die from his injuries. He finally died at a lake. Every day his family would send updates to newspapers on how he was doing, and even go into detail about the most mundane things he did, like if he napped or sweat. We then focus on Garfield’s life. He was a voracious reader who read almost every single thing he could, and kept a diary with a noticeable theme of wishing that he was reading instead of doing his actual presidential duties. He didn’t seem to love his work, telling the graduates of Hiram College that leisure was the best thing in the world and you should never give anything up for it. We then move into Guiteau, who Vowell describes as a cracked mirror image of Garfield, an interesting comparison, but one that makes sense given their eerily similar backgrounds. Both lost a parent, both lived in the midwest, both were Christians who preached. Guiteau joined the Oneida Community in 1860, and left in 1865 due to the fact that no one really liked him in the Oneida Community. The Oneida Community was founded by John Humphrey Noyes, who was surprisingly married. The OC was a community of what they called “special love” or as Vowell refers to it, sex friends. We talked about this in class so I won’t go too in depth because it’s awkward, but Guiteau didn’t like that you still needed consent because no one would sleep with him because they did not like him at all. After Guiteau left, he started a lawsuit against Oneida for child abuse (which it technically was). Guiteau’s father was obsessed with Noyes and wrote him apology letters, regarding Charles as insane, which brings the author to speculate that if Guiteau had gotten help from mental health professionals, Garfield might’ve lived.

    2.) Throughout the book, there is tons of helpful contextualization that helps explain backstory to events happening. In this chapter, when they talk about Guiteau’s experience at Oneida, Vowell explains all the history that she learned from visiting the building, and all the backstory to the community. The context to historical events helps readers get a better feel for what had happened before these events that are focused on, and gives the readers a sense on who some of the people are and what their beliefs were.

    3.) A big focus in this section was the Oneida Community, which was a utopian community we learned about in class. This section was a great refresher to what actually went down there, and it was interesting to see how it came into play with an assassin. There’s also references to waving the bloody shirt, where there’s an excerpt blaming the Democrats for every Union soldier shot. It was interesting to actually see an excerpt of this because you can see how much it guilts people.

    4.) Next up is the assassination of McKinley, so I can assume that the book will follow the pattern of talking a bit about the president and then delving into the backstory of the assassin and what caused them to do it. I know that McKinley’s assassin was an anarchist, so it should be interesting to see what he was involved in.

  5. Devin Roberts

    Book Assignment #2

    1) Dr. Dyson talks about and focused on the United States fascination with race and how a presidential candidate who would force everyone to deal with their own racial biases. Dyson talked about “Barack Obama’s quick rise on the national scene raised similar concerns about his appeal to black America and upset a lot of ideas about race. Obama’s being mixed caused even more confusion.The questions came from both sides of the issue. It talked about if would Obama be black enough to fight for black issues or would Obama pander to the needs of the white establishment. Dyson said that we “cannot just search the soil of science for the meanings of blackness; we must unearth the ground of our political priorities.” Dyson sets the tone for a dialogue about the ways in which race as a social construct serves to build up a system of oppression and domination on the one hand and symbolizes the unique customs that developed out of the construct in the other hand.
    Dr. Dyson makes readers to come to grips with what he refers to as the “side door” advantage of Obama’s bi-racial identity. Dyson talks about how black Americans rode the wave of an African immigrant, into political places they would never ordinarily see, while Obama took advantage of opportunities forged by those blacks who have been denied the benefits he enjoyed.”
    This quote goes into how Obama lived the best of both worlds at this time because he wasn’t full African-American so he was able to be granted opportunities that most straight up black people wouldn’t be afforded. Black America also had to come to grips with a Black Presidential candidate that had a white mother, and the way to do that was to focus on the fact that Obama had an African father. Black America was able to recognize the fact that at least Obama was half African. Most Black people couldn’t claim their allegiance to Africa in a specific manner. This connection with President Obama and his Kenyan father allowed Black America to live through the president, as most American weren’t born Africans are not aware of the country in Africa in which their ancestors were born. This connection allowed Black America to join Obama on the journey to the White House. While on the other hand, Obama was able to benefit from the experiences of other Blacks that were much more treacherous than his own, while experiencing and enjoying the opportunities that were denied to other black people. Obama also had to fight for the black vote early in the campaign because he hadn’t been down to fight for the culture per se. When in the Senate he stayed away from the Black Caucus and he didn’t want to be casted as the black candidate.

    2) This talks about change and continuity over time because Obama had to adapt and evolve on how he had to present himself over timed. It also talks about comparison between the different races in the country and how black politicians sometimes have to present themselves and how white ones don’t have to deal with this problem.
    3) I connect this to the election of 2008 because this is when Obama was elected President and it is directly relevant to this time period. This is a modern day that still plagues us on the matter of race in the country. I also think that this will go deeper into how Obama and his race made him conduct a presidency unlike any other one in history.

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