Past Futures: One Hundred Years of Looking Forward

Francis Marion University

Scott Kaufman is a Board of Trustees Research Scholar and chair of the Department of History at Francis Marion University. He is the author, co-author, or editor of twelve books on American military, diplomatic, and presidential history. A number of those works are on Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, including The Presidency of James Earl Carter, Jr., 2nd ed. (co-authored with his father, Burton I. Kaufman), Plans Unraveled: The Foreign Policy of the Carter Administration, A Companion to Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter, and Rosalynn Carter: Equal Partner in the White House.

Overview

Americans have long envisioned their future, but those future visions were (and are) oftentimes influenced by the times in which they appeared. Drawing on a wide array of material since the turn of the twentieth century, including: books such as Homer Lea’s Last Days of the Republic, Nevil Shute’s On the Beach, and Richard Condon’s The Manchurian Candidate; movies such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Day After, and I Robot; TV shows like The Jetsons, Star Trek, and The Six Million Dollar Man; and scenes from the Army-McCarthy hearings, this class will demonstrate that when looking to tomorrow and beyond, Americans could not escape their present.

Recommended Reading:

Voices Prophesying War: Future Wars, 1763-3749, by I.F. Clarke

Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future, by Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan

War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination, by H. Bruce Franklin

Gendering Science Fiction Films: Invaders from the Suburbs, by Susan A. George

Hollywood Science: Movies, Science and the End of the World, by Sidney Perkowitz

Reviews

N/A

0 reviews
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Scroll to Top