On April 29, 2006, our team interviewed Mr. Albert Paulsson, a respected social studies teacher at West-Windsor Plainsboro High School North.
Mr. Albert Paulsson has been teaching American Studies and other social studies courses at the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North for seven years. His students all refer to him as the best, and enjoy his many political references to modern-day current events.
Mr. Paulsson graduated from Trenton State College with a bachelors degree in history. He attended The College of New Jersey to complete his graduate schooling. After that, he applied for a teaching job at WW-P North where he currently serves as a social studies teacher.
"The Cold War has its roots in the very different political systems that naturally create distrust..." - [roots.mp3]
"World War II put us together as a common enemy, but in the last days of the war we began to again see a lot of the distrust between the nations become very evident. A lot of the promises that were made began to unravel, specifically what would become known as the 'Iron Curtain'..." - listen
"We began to see Soviet's communist superpower as being aggressive, as trying to spread itself in a sort of global revolution, and ultimately tempting to overwhelm much freer political systems, including our own." - listen
"They also saw us as being aggressive and trying to spread our form of government... through ...contributions of large amounts of money and other things... They saw our culture as being excessive, they saw capitalism as being imperialist." - listen
"We had this conflict that grew, of course, to reach the head during the Cuban missile crisis, where a lot of people felt we were very close to nuclear conflict." - listen
"Even myself, growing up in the 80's largely, I remember as a child having bomb shelter drills because of the tension that was there." - listen
"A lot of the Hollywood movies coming out at the time used the political atmosphere to make stories that also filled Americans with fear. Some also filled Americans with patriotism." - listen
"There's also movies like 'The Day After' which showed what nuclear destruction would create. I was scared after watching that movie because it did show you how such hatred and paranoia can ultimately lead to this nuclear Armageddon.., where you wake up the next day and everyone has been irradiated and towns and civilization utterly destroyed." - listen
"When the wall came down there was great celebration. For my generation, I remember that very clearly, that this was a watershed moment, that our system was triumphant over that system, and what that meant was a great amount of promise for the future for the so many nations who had been under the oppressive restraints of the Soviets." - listen
"...And now that they are no longer there, I think it also creates a void out there... What are we fighting against? What is out there for us to motivate us? There's that absence now of enemy number one." - listen
"A lot of our enemies now are more hidden, more covert, more difficult to gauge. The reality of the position of America now is more cloudy. Its not us versus them, its us versus, well, we're not sure sometimes..." - listen
"I guess the war on terrorism is where we are today, but again it's a very different situation. It's not involving superpower versus superpower. Its involving a formidable enemy, one that is more hidden, one that is more insidious in many ways. In the Cold War we could actually speak with the leader of the enemy and have diplomacy. We don't have that now, so in many ways we're handcuffed." - listen