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American History - Interview - Essay Example

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INTERVIEW: AMERICAN HISTORY Name of Student (author) Student ID Number: Name of University Estimated Word Count: 1,451 November 30, 2011 INTERVIEW: AMERICAN HISTORY Introduction History is a very interesting subject to study because it contains the records of people or events; it can be divided into the past and the present…
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American History - Interview
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Download file to see previous pages Anything prior to this period is termed as pre-history. However, history is not limited to the past only; it can also be study of present events and people still alive who can give their own unique take on certain events as they see them. This paper is more concerned on current history and how people see some events as truly defining in terms of their historical significance. Discussion My interviewee is my grandfather who is now 75 years old; this means he was born in the year 1936 which is prior to the Second World War. When that war started, he was about five years old and can still recall his father going to the Pacific to fight the Japanese soldiers who had invaded parts of Southeast Asia (the former British and Dutch colonies, such as Malaysia, Burma and Singapore as well as Indonesia). This war in the Pacific theater started when Japanese planes bombed the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii in a sneak attack on December 8, 1941. America had initially refused to be drawn into this war as the public was isolationist and pacifist, thinking the war in Europe then was too far away to be concerned with it directly. He can still remember but only vaguely how his father explained to him why he has to go to fight the enemy; at that time of course, he could not understand the significance of it all. In his neighborhood, a lot of men (some of them quite young) were also enlisting and so their place became quite empty, leaving only mostly women who took over some of the jobs of the men. He was very happy when his dad came home a few years later who regaled him with war stories. As he grew older and enrolled in school and continued on with his studies, he by and by learned the importance of civic duty for people to serve willingly in the military service for sake of freedom and in defense of democracy. He explained America and the world is now a safer place. I chose my grandfather as he is very close to me and I am one of his favorite grandsons. Further, his memory is still very lucid. He does not suffer from old-age diseases like Alzheimer's or other debilitating ailments associated with the elderly. His recollection of certain past events is fairly accurate and he gives them enough perspective in context of today's current events also. In retrospect, he more or less focused on his teenage and younger days which was in the 1950s and the 1960s which were the two decades in which America enjoyed relative peace and prosperity. In particular, this period was during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961). The questions I had asked by grandfather were all about his impressions of those years. In general, he recalled those years as “the good old days” when jobs were plentiful, the pay was equally great, there was job security, people could buy what they want as they had a purchasing power unlike today (due to the strong dollar) and American citizens were rightfully expecting to be able to attain the “American Dream” of owning their homes, move to the suburbs and have a decent car, go to college and reach their ambition to get out of poverty and be in middle class. Some of the answers he gave were forthright, in my own assessment. But he was quite evasive also on other topics, which I think are better left unanswered as I did not think it is very proper to insist on him answering some questions which he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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