Meg Jacobs

May 2017

I absolutely loved this class and consistently looked forward to lectures. Professor Jacobs was always highly engaging and made the material both fascinating and accessible. She also really made an effort to get to know her students and their names, and would remember a student's name after only one interaction with them. It was clear that she really cares about her students and wanted to see us succeed. I learned a lot about this time period - the course covers the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II, with some lectures at the very beginning of the semester about the Roaring Twenties. Professor Jacobs clearly knows a lot about the material, and taught it both in depth and with clarity. One warning is that Professor Jacobs speaks fairly quickly and covers a lot of information, so you will be taking a lot of notes. But it is definitely manageable, and so so worth it. She also repeats the important information multiple times, so you will easily get a grasp of the main themes and concepts of the class. In terms of studying for the midterm and final in this class, you really only need to review your notes and make sure you understand the main concepts. As long as you pay attention in lecture and review your notes, you'll do very well in this class. I would 100% recommend this class to anyone even vaguely interested in history or economics. Professor Jacobs is an absolutely outstanding professor, and you shouldn't miss the opportunity to take a class with her!

Jan 2017

Professor Jacobs is a wonderful professor. She's highly engaging and encourages students to engage with the material in a way that both sharpens our historical skills and encourages connections and analysis with other parts of history, especially our present. Her seminars were focused around helping us develop the skills and timeline needed to write a 15 page research paper. She takes this seriously. She will help you every step of the way and give structured assignments to take you through formulating a topic, researching and assembling a corpus of material, and finally writing. She gives feedback at every step and is willing to help you at her office hours constantly. This also ties into how the readings are structured to help you with your historical skills, particularly argumentation, as she'll mention frequently that your job in writing the research paper is to present an argument with evidence, just as the authors you read in class do. She ran the seminar incredibly well, incorporating our weekly work in with the readings, and often brought in cookies or other treats for class. Readings for Consumer Culture included two novels, a book on fast food, a book on Wal-Mart and a book about the baby boom. Readings for Nuclear Age included a book about the baby boom, detente, African American movements, the oil crisis, the Iran hostage crisis and the origins of environmentalism. Both classes involved readings, primary sources and a short, two page analysis (weekly), a 5 page primary source journal (where you summarize your sources) and a 15 page research paper (which, as I've written, she helps you with extensively). The lecture class was a very standard lecture, focusing more on the material than on developing your own history paper. The topic was fairly narrow -- the Roaring 20s, the Depression years and World War II, and then a bit of the post-War period. The years covered are about 1920 to about 1950, covering primarily the presidencies of Roosevelt and Truman, with special attention paid to the government and responses to the government, as well as issues of class, consumption, labor, race and gender. Her lectures were engaging and interesting, and covered a lot in very little time. Very little was said about military history or about the battles of World War II. Readings focused on the economic crash in 1929, people's responses to Roosevelt, demagogues like Huey Long and Francis Townsend, the impact of World War II on the home front and on veterans, as well as primary sources outlining government policy and response during the Roosevelt years. Discussion section focused on improving our understanding of the reading alongside material from the lectures. Assignments included only two exams (term and passage IDs, as well as one essay, the prompts she gives in advance) and a short five-page paper based on newspaper research (which should be easy for anyone who has written any type of history paper based on primary work). As a professor, Professor Jacobs is truly a gem and not to be missed. Her classes are interesting and timely, and her passion for teaching is obvious and welcomed. She'll also learn your name on the first go (seriously, only one introduction needed)! I wholeheartedly recommend professor Jacobs if you have any interest at all in the topics she's teaching.

May 2016

A really great class. You will learn so much about the New Deal and World War II. This class covers many of the economic, social, and political developments during this time period (roughly 1932-1948). Professor Jacobs is a great lecturer. Instead of heavy secondary readings and boring primary sources like most classes, she just assigns four books the whole semester. One of them Stud Terkel's oral history of WW2 is one of the best books i've read in a long time. One easy paper, midterm, final.