Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in History and Stories of the Contemporary World
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (64 hours)

There are no preconditions

Final Examination: 

The final examination comprises two parts:
1) a two-hour written examination (to be taken without the help of readings or notes), aimed at assessing the knowledge of the reading suggested for the “General part” of the course. The test is structured as follows:
• 20 multiple-choice questions, worth 1 point each;
• Two open questions, worth maximum 5 points each.
To be admitted to the second part of the examination, a pass mark is required (at least 18/30) in the first part.
2) An oral examination (two questions) concerning the readings suggested for the “Monographic part” of the course and the other materials uploaded on the e-learning pla-tform by the lecturer.
The mark of the oral examination (expressed on a scale of 30) will take into account the accuracy of the answers (worth 60% of the mark), as well as students’ analytical and presentation skills (worth 40% of the mark).
The final mark is the average of the two marks awarded in the written and oral examina-tions, both of which must be taken in the same exam session. The pass mark is 18/30.

Voto Finale

By making use of the abundant literature on the topic and the information provided by the new media (the press, the radio, the television and the web), the course aims to assess and compare the key events and the often manipulated
interpretations of the second half of the twentieth century, also reflecting on the public use (and abuse) of History.
The course is structured in two parts. The first part outlines the events from WWII to the new political order that followed the end of the Cold War. The second part focuses on the historiographical debate concerning the key events and problems of this period (see “Course content, Monographic part”).
Among the learning objectives we find:
•The knowledge of the proposed topics, particularly the methodologies and different means necessary to analyse the key events of Contemporary History and to present them to the general public.
•The ability to interpret, discuss and present the acquired information under the lens of the most recent literature.
•The ability to discuss the sources and the “public use of History”.

The lessons outline the period from World War II to the post-bipolar era by focusing on the following events and processes:

A) General part(approximately 30 hours):
• Introduction: The idea of “contemporary”
• World War II
• The new order: The«Cold War»
• Gandhi and the independence of India; Mao Tse Tung and the foundation of Communist China
• Truman’s USA and Stalin’sUSSR
• The Israel-Palestine conflict from the origins to the present day
• The Korean War
• The West under Eisenhower and the East under Khrushchev
• McCarthyism and De-Stalinization
• Revolution in Cuba: Fidel Castro and Ernesto Guevara
• Decolonization and the «Third World»: The «non-aligned» countries
• The U.S. from John F. Kennedy toLyndon B. Johnson
•Vietnam War
•The USSR from Nikita Khrushchev toLeonid Brezhnev and the «Prague Spring»
• Africa and Asia in the 1960s and 1970s: Mao’s «Cultural Revolution» and the «Apartheid» of Nelson Mandela
• The U.S. from Richard Nixon toJimmy Carter: Watergate and the «Good Intentions»
• The 1980s: Ronald Reagan and the West
• The USSR from Brezhnev’s «Real Socialism» to Gorbachev
• «Glasnost» and «Perestroika». Eastern Europe and the collapseof communist regimes
• The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the «Cold War»
•Scenarios in the post-bipolar era: the new order/disorder; terrorism and global wars, 9/11 and the «clash of civilizations»

B) Monographic part(approximately 34 hours):
• The Great War
• The Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union
• Nazism
• Totalitarianism
• The Shoah
• Interpretations of the Cold War
• Globalization
• Interpretations of the XXth century
• Revisionism andnegationism
• Conspiracy theories and the «narrative» of History.

1. Miscellaneous material (available in Pdf format on the e-learning platform at the end of the course).

2. General part:
• G. Sabbatucci, G. Vidotto, Il mondo contemporaneo. Dal 1848 a oggi, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2017.

3. Monographic part (three monographs):
a) One book among the following:

• G. Gozzini, Il Novecento, Bruno Mondadori editore
• A. Lepre, Guerra e pace nel XX secolo, Bologna, il Mulino
• E. J. Hobsbawn, Il secolo breve, Milano, Rizzoli
• M Flores, Il Secolo mondo, vol. I e vol. II, Bologna, Il Mulino
• G. Procacci, Storia del XX secolo, Milano, Bruno Mondadori
• A. Vittoria, Il Novecento. Dall’età dell’imperialismo alla globalizzazione, Roma, Carocci

b) Two books among the following:

• C. Clark, I sonnambuli. Come l’Europa arrivò alla Grande Guerra, Roma-Bari, Laterza
• A. Wood, La rivoluzione russa Bologna, il Mulino
• D. Williamson, Il Terzo Reich, Bologna, il Mulino
• R. Overy, Crisi tra le due guerre mondiali, Bologna, il Mulino
• H. Thomas, Storia della guerra civile spagnola, Torino, Einaudi
• R. Overy, Le origini della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, Bologna, il Mulino
• J. Keegan, Storia della Seconda Guerra mondiale, Milano, Rizzoli
• G. Schreiber, La seconda guerra mondiale, Bologna, il Mulino
• D. Engel, L’Olocausto, Bologna, il Mulino
• J. Smith, La guerra fredda, Bologna, il Mulino
• J. L. Gaddis, LaGuerra Fredda. Milano, Mondadori
• S. H. Lee, La guerra di Corea, Bologna, il Mulino
• R. F. Betts, La decolonizzazione, Bologna, il Mulino
• B. Droz, Storia della decolonizzazione nel XX secolo, Milano, Bruno Mondadori
• J. Gelvin, Il conflitto israelo-palestinese. Cent’anni di guerra, Torino, Einaudi
•M. Hall, La guerra del Vietnam, Bologna, il Mulino.


The learning objectives will be achieved through 64 lecture hours. Students are expected to participate in the discussions in class, which will allow them to familiarize with the historiographical debate and the narrative tools to integrate history in the public debate (through the press, the television, and the new media).

Office hour and location: Fridays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Dipartimento di Scienze Teoriche e Applicate (Padiglione Rossi, Via Rossi). Students are required to previously schedule a meeting by sending an e-mail to the lecturer (