Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
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My Notes on Massive Open Online Course:
The Modern World: Global History since 1760
This is a survey of modern history from a global perspective. It begins with the revolutions of the late 1700s, tracks the transformation of the world during the 1800s, and analyzes the cataclysms of last century, concluding with the new phase of world history we are experiencing today.
Notes on 35 Lectures I Watched in This Course:
1914: Schizophrenic Germany
1914: The Balkan Whirlpool
1914: From Balkan Crisis to War
1914-1916: All War Plans Fail Horribly
The 1916 Missed Opportunity for Peace
WWI Pushes Warring Countries Toward Total States
Why the Allies Won World War One
Post-WWI: Filling the Void of Collapsed Empires
Post-WWI Communism vs. Anti-Communism
Post World War I: The Age of Uncertainty
1910s/1920s: Modern Women
The World of 1930
The 1930s World Crisis
1930s: The Decade of Contingency
America's Entry into World War II
WWII: Strategies for Total War
1945: Hour Zero
Post WWII: Imagining New Countries
Conflicts in Postwar Nation Building
The Two Europes That Emerged After WWII
1947 China: Undesirable Communists vs. Flawed Nationalists
Post WWII: The Age of America
Reasons for the Korean War
How WWIII was Avoided in the Korean War
1950-1952: The Cold War Comes to Main Street
1950-1954: The H-Bomb and the Nuclear Revolution
1950s: Loosening Empires and Building Confederations
The Emergence of the Third World
1958-1962: The World at the Brink
Third World Proxy Wars of the 1950s and 1960s
Managerial States and the Transnational Disruption of 1968
1970s Obstacles to Reducing Cold War Tensions
1970s Democratic Socialism Becomes a Non-Choice
1980s Political Polarization
1980s: Global Capitalism Transformed
36 People I Have Learned About in this Course:
George Marshall (1880-1959)
Chief military adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt famous for his leadership roles during World War II and after
  • was Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense
  • hailed as the "organizer of victory" by Winston Churchill for his leadership of the Allied victory
  • Marshall's name was given to the Marshall Plan
Harry Hopkins (1890-1946)
Franklin Roosevelt's chief diplomatic advisor during WWII
  • in WWII was key policy maker in the $50 billion Lend-Lease program that sent aid to the Allies
  • one of the architects of the New Deal program
  • directed the WPA (Works Progress Administation) which became the largest employer in the country
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964)
First Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics for much of the 20th century
  • in office from 1947-1964
  • considered to be the architect of the modern Indian nation-state: a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic
John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)
British economist whose ideas have fundamentally informed the economic policies of governments
  • overturned older ideas that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands
Mao Zedong (1893-1976)
Chinese Communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China
  • his Marxist-Leninist theories, military strategies and political policies are collectively known as Maoism
Sukarno (1901-1967)
The leader of Indonesia's struggle for independence from the Netherlands
  • spent over a decade under Dutch detention until released by the invading Japanese forces
  • in office from 1945 to 1967
Vyacheslav Molotov (1890-1986)
A Soviet politician, diplomat, and Old Bolshevik, leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s into the 1950s
  • rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin
  • dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev
  • was the principal Soviet signatory of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact of 1939
Zhou Enlai (1898-1976)
First Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976
  • served under Mao Zedong
  • consolidated the control of the Communist Party
  • formed foreign policy
  • developed the Chinese economy
  • met with George Marshall as the Communist representative in 1946
Dean Acheson (1893-1971)
Secretary of State in Truman administration, helped design the Marshall Plan
  • helped develop Truman Doctrine (support Greece and Turkey) and NATO
  • convinced Truman to intervene in Korean War in June 1950
George Kennan (1904-2005)
American political scientists, the "father of containment"
  • his writing inspired the Truman Doctrine
  • leading authority of the Cold War
Jean Monnet (1888-1979)
French political economist and diplomat, regarded as a chief architect of European unity
  • never elected to public office
  • a well-connected pragmatic internationalist
Robert Schuman (1886-1963)
A founder of the European Union, twice Prime Minister of France, Minister of Finance and Foreign Minister
  • arrested by Nazis, saved by lawyer from being sent to Dachau
  • joined French Resistance
  • always argued that European reconciliation that must take place after the end of hostilities
Albert Coady Wedemeyer (1897-1989)
United States Army commander who assumed command of U.S. forces in China during World War II
  • was also named Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek
  • provided the Wedemeyer report which Marshall quashed
  • was a chief supporter of the Berlin Airlift
  • as a U.S. officer, he was appointed to the German war college Kriegsakademie in Berlin, 1936-38, and was included in 1938 German maneuvers, which gave him unique insight into German tactical operations
Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975)
Chinese political and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China (Taiwan) between 1928 and 1975
  • took Sun's place as leader of the KMT (Kuomintang) when Sun died in 1925
Mao Zedong (1893-1976)
Chinese Communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China
  • governed China fro 1949-1976
Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925)
Chinese revolutionary, first president and founding father of the Republic of China
  • in the ROC (Republic of China, Taiwan) he is referred to as Father of the Nation
  • played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the years leading up to the Double Ten Revolution (Xinhai Revolution of 1911)
Kim Il-sung (1912-1994)
Leader of North Korea from 1948-1994
  • authorized invasion of South Korean in 1950
  • established an all-pervasive cult of personality
  • succeeded by Kim Jong-Il reigned 1994-2011
  • succeeded by Kim Jong-un in 2011
Syngman Rhee (1875-1965)
First president of South Korea
  • before WWII, elicited outside help to get the Japanese out of Korea
  • Harvard, Princeton graduate
  • anti-Communist and a strongman
  • led South through the Korean War
Matthew Ridgway (1895-1993)
U.S. Army general credited for turning the Korean War around in favor of the UN side
  • in 1986 recognized by the award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • when MacArthur was relieved by Truman in April 1951, Ridgway assumed command of all United Nations forces in Korea
Peng Dehuai (1898-1974)
Chinese Communist military leader who supported Mao's suggestions to involve China directly in the Korean War
  • Defense Minister from 1954 to 1959
Josip Tito (1892-1980)
Authoritarian, "benevolent dictator" of Yugoslavia
  • 1943-1980 Supreme commander of Yugoslav army
  • during World War II he was the leader of the Partisans, often regarded as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe
Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882-1967)
Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 until 1953 overthrown by British/Americans
  • pro nationalization of the Iranian oil industry (under British control since 1913)
Che Guevara (1928-1967)
Argentine Marxist revolutionary against capitalist exploitation of Latin America
  • traveled throughout South America, saw poverty, involved in Guatemala's social reforms, joined Fidel Castro
  • played a pivotal role in the victorious two-year guerrilla campaign that deposed the Batista regime
  • supported international revolution
  • captured and killed by CIA-supported Bolivian troops in Bolivia
Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1957)
Second president of Egypt after planning 1952 overthrow of monarchy, cracked down on Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president
  • neutralist policies during the Cold War led to tense relations with Western powers
  • retaliatory move to nationalize the Suez Canal Company in 1956 was acclaimed within Egypt and the Arab world
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969)
Vietnamese Communist revolutionary, president of North Vietnam 1945-1969
  • died of old age in the middle of the Vietnam War (1955-1975)
Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972)
Leader of Ghana 1951-1966 nation's independence from British colonization in 1957
  • winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963
  • saw himself as an African Lenin
Gary Powers (1929-1977)
American CIA pilot whose spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over Soviet Union airspace, causing the 1960 U-2 incident
  • he ejected, plane crashed almost fully intact
  • was held in Vladimir Central Prison, 100 miles east of Moscow, developed a good rapport with Russian prisoners there
  • 1962 exchanged on the Glienicke Brücke
Ngo Dinh Diem (1901-1963)
First president of South Vietnam (1955–1963)
  • accruing considerable US support due to his staunch anti-communism
  • in 1955 won 600,000 votes from an electorate of 450,000
  • a Roman Catholic, Diem's policies toward the Republic's Montagnard natives and its Buddhist majority were met with protests
  • lost the backing of his US patrons and was assassinated in a coup d'état
Odumegwu Ojukwu (1933-2011)
Nigerian military officer and politician, the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970
  • Nigerian politician from 1983 to 2011
  • served as the military governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria in 1966
  • educated in England
  • attractive to the west
Liu Shaoqi (1898-1969)
President of the People's Republic of China from 1959 to 1968, during which he implemented policies of economic reconstruction in China
  • fell out of favor in the 1960s because Mao viewed him as a threat to his power
  • 1968 disappeared from public life and was labelled China's premier 'Capitalist-roader' and a traitor
  • died under harsh treatment in late 1969
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)
Russian novelist, historian who helped to raise global awareness of Soviet Union's forced labor camps
  • wrote "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich"
  • was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974 but returned to Russia in 1994 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Edward Heath (1916-2005)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1974, bitterly denounced by Thatcher
  • was going to take on inflation, take on the labor unions
  • 1972 throws up his hands and increased spending and inflation
Enrico Berlinguer (1922-1984)
An Italian politician and national secretary of the Italian Communist Party
  • broke with the Soviets over the invasion of Afghanistan
  • came close to taking power in Italy in a free election
Helmut Schmidt (1918-)
West Germany chancellor from 1974-1982, member of the SPD party,
  • 1969-1972: Minister of Defense
  • 1972-1974: Minister of Finance
  • supported policies which gave led to Germany having one of the most stable currencies and economic positions in the world
Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
American economist, statistician, and writer, the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century
  • taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades
  • known for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy
Yuri Andropov (1914-1984)
Leader of the Soviet Union from 1982-1984
  • 1954: played a key role in crushing the Hungarian Revolution
  • 1967: played key role in crushing of Prague Spring
  • 1979: played dominant role in the decision to invade Afghanistan
9 Vocabulary Words I Learned in this Course:
adjudicate, v. give a judicial decision  "The realistic path for the superpowers was to adjudicate the conflicts and disputes among themselves."
ambivalent, adj. simultaneously experiencing or expressing opposing or contradictory feelings, beliefs, or motivations  "The image of Sukarno on the cover of Time Magazine is ambivalent, do you sympathize with this man, or are you afraid of him?"
avuncular, adj. regarded as characteristic of an uncle, especially in benevolence or tolerance  "That gentle, avuncular fellow Milton Friedman."
benighted, adj. lacking knowledge or education, unenlightened  "In the 1920s and well into the 1930s, the American South was regarded as the substantially unreconstructed backward backwater of American society: weaker education, oppression of the Negros, a kind of benighted, colorful place, fit for the fiction of William Faulkner but hardly for imitation in the rest of the country."
collude, v. act together secretly to achieve a fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful purpose  "What happens then is that the British and French secretly collude with the Israelis so that all three countries launch a joint military occupation which will seize the Suez Canal while the Israelis will attack Egypt in Sinai."
firebrand, n. person who stirs up trouble or kindles a revolt  "Mao Zedong, the young firebrand."
peonage, n. system by which debtors are bound in servitude to their creditors until their debts are paid  "During the 1910s and 1920s, Africans in the American South were able to increasingly free themselves from this kind of peonage."
prescient, adj. [PRESS-ee-ahnt] having knowledge of coming events;, foreseeing, conscious beforehand  "F.A. Hayek's message in the book 'The Road to Serfdom' suggested that visions like those of James Burnham are extremely prescient, and that people need to fight it."
rankle, v. to cause irritation or deep bitterness  "The Soviets took chunks out of the expanded German Reich and moved the whole country of Poland about 150 miles to the west, which rankled the British and French who had gone to war in 1939 to fight for the security of Poland."
4 Flashcards I Recorded in this Course:
which country owned Angola as a colony?
three people who helped create the Marshall plan
Dean Acheson, George Kennan, Will Clayton
who were the two opposing leaders in China at the end of WWII
Chiang Kai-shek (nationalists) and Mao Zedong (communists)
from where to where were the Chinese nationalists trying to move their capital in 1947
from Chongqing to Nanjing