Hist 105 Short Paper #4
Diverse Ways of Thinking: Clash of Civilizations?
Due via Angel Drop Box, Saturday, April 12, 11:55 PM
Our first paper concentrated on how scholars support thesis-driven arguments using a variety of evidence. As we discovered, authors will often rely on historical data to shape their arguments and develop conclusions that are relevant to the world today. The second and third papers asked you to apply this approach to examine the contemporary issues of globalization and racial inequality by exploring their historical roots. Our final short paper builds on these previous assignments by analyzing authors’ use of historical evidence in challenging the notion that a modern “clash” between peoples of the world is due to differences in culture and cultural values.
Prepare for this assignment by reviewing the class readings, and notes from lectures, films, and discussions from Unit 4. Pay close attention to how authors have used historical evidence (or in the case of primary sources, how they might have used direct observation) to support their arguments and conclusions. While these authors might disagree (and you may disagree with them), their use of thesis-driven arguments supported by historical evidence offer good models for your final research paper. Once you have prepared, address all parts of this question in an 800-1100 word essay:
The African scholar, Mahmood Mamdani in his provocative book, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Roots of Terror, claims that United States foreign policy in the Afghan war against the Soviet Union in the 1980’s contributed significantly to the strengthening and proliferation of Islamist extremism. Critically evaluate Mamdani’s thesis. How and why did radical Islamism expand? What were the roots of modern terrorism? Were they embedded in a cultural clash between “the West” and “the Orient/East,” or in political history? What is persuasive about Mamdani’s evidence and argument, and...
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