Cold War Oral History
Cold War Oral History Project
Name of subject (person you are interviewing) _____________________________
Subject’s Date of Birth_________________________________________ Age Now__________
Subject’s Place of Birth___________________ Number of siblings______________________
Places Subject has Lived (cities, states, regions of the country) _________________________
Ask the following questions and record the exact responses you get in the space below (thus, this should be like a written recording of what your subject says). After you ask the required questions, add two additional questions of your own that ask the subject to expand on some of the issues they’ve raised in the required responses. Keep in mind that your subject must have been born before 1963.
- What are your most striking memories of the Cold War? What events stand out for you? Why did these events leave a lasting impression?
- Were you scared during the Cold War? Why or why not?
- What do you remember about American attitudes toward communism during the Cold War? Were those attitudes also articulated by your parents and friends?
- What single event from the Cold War most stands out in your memory? ___________________ (examples include: Sputnik, Soviets getting the atomic bomb, McCarthy hearings, Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War, a SALT treaty, Reagan telling Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, etc.)? Why do you recall this event, in particular, so clearly?
- Where were you when you learned about ________________(your event)? How did you learn about it? What was your response? What do you remember people saying about it?
Once you have completed the interview, write an essay that incorporates the experiences and memories of your subject with factual material from the textbook account and the short articles posted on Blackboard, answering the following questions: How closely aligned are historians’ accounts of the event(s) in question and your subject’s memory, and how do you account for any disparity? Based on your subject’s account, how important was the Cold War in American life, and why? How does that opinion align with historians’ accounts, and how do you account for any disparity? Total: 3-5 pp.