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Anatomy of Your Enemy, by Dana S. Altshuler


Guide Entry to 05.02.01:

This unit explores the cross-cultural connections between two occurrences of discriminatory government policies implemented during times of war: the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and anti-gay policy throughout American society in the Post September 11th years. This unit fulfills several of the requirements for the World History course taught in the freshman year. The unit was written for honors-level students, but can be modified for various levels. The essential question that students will be called upon to consider is: How does identity contribute to instances of conflict? Within the context of this question students will analyze factors that go into creating conflict in order to spark awareness to current issues facing our society. Among these factors are: nationalism, propaganda and fear tactics, an ongoing history of discrimination in our society and world, the impact of the media, and the resulting violence that targets marginalized people in society.

A variety of resources are used during the unit, such as: readings, film, art, and music. Films include Prelude to War, The Music Man, and Before Stonewall. Reading materials include: a selected excerpt from Leslie Feinberg's, Stone Butch Blues; an article from Teaching Tolerance magazine titled, "American Gothic;" and the political writings of President George W. Bush (2001) and Martin Luther (1543). Additionally, this unit uses a variety of visuals to demonstrate Nazi use of propaganda. The name of the unit, Anatomy of Your Enemy is based on the title of a song by Anti-Flag. Students will use song lyrics to make analogies to topics discussed during the unit.

(Recommended for U.S. History, Government, and World History, grades 9-12.)

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