The Century: Approaching the Apocalypse                                                     Name_______________

Discussion questions

1.      Richard Nixon became president in 1969. Why was Nixon such a poor choice for the divided nation?




2.      Who were the “silent majority?” How was the image of the silent majority used as a political weapon?




3.      In 1970, National Guardsmen killed four students at Kent State University. How did the killings at Kent State epitomize the destructive divide in America?




4.      What are identity politics? Are they empowering or are they divisive?



5.      American soldiers were better equipped, better fed and in better health than the Vietnamese soldiers. Yet, the American soldiers were not able to defeat the Vietnamese. Why were the Vietnamese soldiers so resilient?




6.      Nixon’s crowning achievement as president was his trip to China. Why was his trip to China so monumental?




7.      Discuss some of the problems Vietnam veterans had adjusting to American society when they came home. Why did they have so many problems?




8.      Why was Watergate such a scandal? How did it bring down the president of the United States?




9.      Discuss the impact of the Watergate scandal on the American public, American confidence and American history.




10.  How did the inability of the United States to defeat North Vietnam reveal cracks in the seemingly impenetrable military might of the country?



11. How did the fall of Saigon end an era?