The Question: Charles Dickens opened his famous novel A Tale of Two Cities with

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The Question: Charles Dickens opened his famous novel A Tale of Two Cities with the words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” Some have felt that such a characterization could be made of the post-World War II era. For every advance, there was a setback. For every hopeful moment, a heartbreak. Given the events on the home front between 1945 and the present, is Dickens’ assessment applicable to this period? Why or why not?
Things to Consider Before Answering: What were the most important domestic challenges and opportunities during this time and why? Was America better or worse off as a result of how it handled each challenge or opportunity that you have identified and why? Do the events going on in each decade have anything to do with the country’s ability to address the opportunities and challenges it is facing? After you’ve considered these issues for each of the decades, what are the implications for the central question about the period? Be sure to use specific historical examples to make your case.

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