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Oil for Living

Before Americans could have the Hula hoops or Twinkies that helped to define the postwar-era, there had to be a prodigious and reliable supply of crude oil. The best evidence of 20th century Americans’ overwhelming dependence on petroleum may be our complete neglect at providing it proper credit for enabling this standard of living. Even now, most of us barely get past a first-grade understanding of our dependence on oil. Oil does not just fuel our vehicles. Oil has changed our diet, our clothes, our neighborhoods, our jobs, our fun—in fact, everything about our society. “Oil for Living” provides some concepts for how we might add this story more accurately to the history of post-war America and the activities below will help you to extend these points in the classroom.

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“Teaching the JAH” uses online tools to bridge the gap between the latest scholarly research in U.S. history and the practice of classroom teaching. JAH authors demonstrate how featured articles might be taught in a U.S. history survey course.

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