Students probe the history of nuclear weapons and the concept of deterrence. They examine arguments for and against nuclear weapons, and the challenges of leftover Cold War arsenals, proliferation, and the threat of nuclear terrorism.
- Explore the relationship between political events and popular culture.
- Compare and contrast songs with different viewpoints.
- Assess the place of political themes in popular music today.
In the Classroom
Call on students to offer their interpretations of the songs presented. Play the videos of the songs to demonstrate how music reinforces the message of the lyrics. Ask students to organize the songs by themes and types. Compare and contrast the songs.
Call on students to identify the most important values in the songs. Invite students to reflect on the connection between the songs and the public mood during the Cold War era. To what extent did the songs mirror, or shape, public attitudes?
Comparing Past and Present
Ask students to compare songs of the Cold War with popular music today. Call on them to give examples of current political songs. How have the themes changed since the Cold War? How are feelings of patriotism or protest expressed in today’s music?