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PEOPLE'S UNIVERSITY: The Cold War - Class 1: Iron Curtain Rising

December 02, 2021
7:00pm - 8:30pm

PEOPLE'S UNIVERSITY: The Cold War - Class 1: Iron Curtain Rising

Class 1: Introduction: "Iron Curtain Rising. What was the Cold War?" with instructor Dr. Gary Kappel

In this introduction to the Cold War, we will discuss agreements made during wartime prior to 1945; the first confrontations over Poland, Iran, Turkey, etc.; the Long Telegram and Containment; the Truman Doctrine, The Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift, and NATO. It's a lot to cover, but if you've heard Dr. Kappel lecture before, you know it will be an excellent primer for this series.  

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Gary Kappel, Emeritus Professor of History, spent his entire professional career serving the students and his colleagues at his alma mater, Bethany College. In addition to teaching courses in World History, European History, Military History, and the history of ideas, for many years he taught First Year seminars in the Cold War and the history of Bethany College. He earned his B.A. at Bethany College, and his M.A. & Ph.D. at West Virginia University.

People's University: The Cold War
The "Cold War" was the crucible by which the United States was transformed into a global superpower and laid the basis for the national security state. The ideological and geopolitical competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union shaped the global and regional makeup of the modern world. A driver for the development of both conventional and nuclear forces, the Cold War played out not just between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R, but also in Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, indeed, the entire world, leaving legacies that continue to influence global politics in the twenty-first century. We'll look at the origins and developments of the conflict, from containment, the red scare, the space race, the building and tearing down of the Berlin Wall, to the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will also explore memories and events of Wheeling and the state of West Virginia during the period and end by examining how the Cold War is still impacting the world today. 

Class 1: Dec. 2 — Introduction: Iron Curtain Rising. What was the Cold War? — Instructor Dr. Gary Kappel
Class 2: Dec. 9 — Wars of Containment — Instructor Dr. Gary Kappel
Class 3: Dec. 16 — Fall of Empires — Instructor Dr. Joe Laker
Class 4: Dec. 21 (Tuesday) — The Second Red Scare — Instructor Dr. Hal Gorby
Class 5: Dec. 30 — More Bombs, Bigger Bombs, Better Bombs — Instructor Dr. Gary Kappel
Class 6: Jan. 6 — A Global War — Instructor Dr. Joe Laker
Class 7: Jan. 13 — Reagan and Gorbachev — Instructor Dr. Korcaighe Hale
Class 8: Jan. 20 — Epilogue, Duck and Cover: Is the Cold War Over? — Instructor Dr. Korcaighe Hale

Class starts at 7:00 pm in the Library Auditorium. This program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the OCPL website's People's University Livestream: The Cold War page Log into your Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for our presenters in the comments box. They will answer them during the live broadcast. 

Thursday | December 2, 2021 at 7:00 pm
LWB LIVESTREAM: The Cold War - Class 1: "Introduction: Iron Curtain Rising. What was the Cold War?" with instructor Dr. Gary Kappel

The Cold War: A New History,  by John Lewis Gaddis. (Penguin Press, 2005)
[Reserve a copy from the Library  |  Stream the audiobook with your OCPL library card through WVDeli or HooplaDigital ]

book coverThe "dean of Cold War historians" (New York Times) now presents the definitive account of the global confrontation that dominated the last half of the twentieth century. It began during the Second World War, when American and Soviet troops converged from east and west. Their meeting point-a small German city-became part of a front line that solidified shortly thereafter into an Iron Curtain. It ended in a climactic square-off between Ronald Reagan's America and Gorbachev's Soviet Union. In between were decades of global confrontation, uncertainty, and fear. Drawing on new and often startling information from newly opened Soviet, Eastern European, and Chinese archives, this thrilling account explores the strategic dynamics that drove the Cold War, provides illuminating portraits of its major personalities, and offers much fresh insight into its most crucial events. Riveting, revelatory, and wise, it tells a story whose lessons it is vitally necessary to understand as America once more faces an implacable ideological enemy.

➤ View all books about the Cold War available at the Library
➤ View all books about the Cold War available through WVDeli
➤ View all books about the Cold War available through Hoopla


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Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm on YouTube Live and Facebook Live

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In 1951, the Ohio County Public Library's librarian, Virginia Ebeling, referenced British historian Thomas Carlyle, who said, “the public library is a People’s University,” when she initiated a new adult education program with that name. Miss Ebeling charged the library with the responsibility of reaching “as many people in the community as possible.” In keeping with that tradition of public libraries as sanctuaries of free learning for all people, the Ohio County Public Library revived the series in 2010.

The People’s University features courses (taught by experts in each subject) that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in classic subjects such as history, music appreciation, philosophy, and literature. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests of other requirements and all programs are free and open to the public. For more information about PU: The Cold War, EMAIL US,  visit or call the library at 304-232-0244.

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