Berlin Blockade and Airlift
The goal of this assignment is to invite you to engage with international public perception of an historical event discussed in our course. This assignment requires you to hone two skills critical to the historian’s craft: research and analysis.
Write about the Berlin Blockade and Airlift, beginning in 1948. Choose two newspapers from one country (such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times from the United States) and find multiple (a minimum of two from each paper) articles published within a two-month timespan after the event. To find the articles, find historic newspaper articles. There are links to multiple different newspaper databases on google scholar. I highly recommend selecting major newspapers over local due to issues with coverage (local papers often reprint other larger presses\’ coverage).
Through an in-depth source analysis, discuss broader perceptions of the event in the country you have selected. For a source analysis, you must engage with both your text for information and as a historical object itself. Consider the following questions:
•What kind of political bias does the paper have (this can often be found in Wikipedia)?
•Who wrote the articles?
•What kind of articles are they (e.g. newswires, editorials)?
•What kind of claims do the articles make about the event (heroic, terrific, world-changing)?
•Do the various articles agree in their interpretation?
•What do these articles tell historians today about (U.S.) opinion? Do the articles agree? Differ?
Make sure to discuss your sources, but remember that the bulk of the paper should deal with historical perceptions of the event itself. Did the articles’ authors view the event with sympathy? Alarm? Trepidation? For whom/over what? Do you think these views express more widespread societal attitudes?
Assignments are due on July 13th at 11:55 pm. Papers should be seven to eight double-spaced pages in Times New Roman, 12-point font, with one-inch margins. Include a title (in bold). Citations are necessary to avoid plagiarism. Be sure to list all of the primary and secondary sources you use, in sufficient detail that others can easily check your work. Chicago style formatting is preferred. You must attach copies of your newspaper articles to your paper.
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