Spring 2017 - Took this class in my freshman year. There will be a lot of content to go through because you're essentially cramming 300 years worth of history into 10 weeks but the tests were fair. If you study with the study guides and read up on some main themes on the textbook it will be fine. Be prepared to put in a reasonable amount of work though. The professor himself has a very thick voice and you will fall asleep in every lecture but it's going to be okay if you attend TA sections.
Fall 2019 - TLDR: One of the best + easiest classes at UCLA. Take Steve Cucharo as TA. Breakdown: 20%: Response Papers 25%: Participation 25%: Final 30%: Social Science Paper The class is new thus workload and grading is light, hardly 2-3h of work per week. Response Papers: simple 400 word papers commenting on specific interesting lines or paragraphs from the readings (stuff you find interesting, confusing, or just disagree with - anything). Super easy to get full (specially with Steve) Participation: show up to discussion, talk for a few minutes and you'll get full on this (at least with Steve Cucharo) Final: Keyword definitions (30pts) and 2 essays (35 pts each). Probably the only challenging bit of the class, but needs max 1 week of work for an A. Social Science Paper: 5pg paper with EXTREMELY CLEAR guidelines on the format, structure, content etc. Easy to get an A on this too. I worked on it for a week and got a 93% Super straight forward class, easy A, AND covers 4 GEs + Writing 2 + Diversity. PS: Steve Cucharo is a fucking godsend. Amazing man, wants you to do well, extremely helpful throughout, and a fucking gem. Text me on 4244409516, giving away notes and study guides, more than enough to get you an A on the class.
Winter 2022 - I am writing this firstly to commend Professor McBride for the tremendous experience he built within this Cluster class, and secondly to defend Sharon, a TA, for unfair and rude criticism expressed in another review. As a professor, he created informative yet engaging slides that compelling conveyed class concepts in a digestible manner. As an administrator, he put much effort into organizing out-of-class events for the Cluster class. Despite their lower-than-expected attendance, these were great events that I encourage people to attend. The Cluster is ultimately a year-long class and getting to know some fellow students and interacting in a more cordial setting with the professors and TAs can be a huge help. Developing these relationships is one of the most rewarding aspects of the Cluster program. Sharon was an exceptional TA who tried her hardest to accommodate the needs of a class of mainly unenthusiastic students taking a course outside their major. Of course, this lack of enthusiasm is natural and expected, but a lot of students were actively hostile towards Sharon and the course in general, making it hard for her to work with everyone at times. However, Sharon nonetheless went to great lengths to ensure we were never alone when it came to course content. Sections were dominated by class discussions where we unpacked weekly readings in-depth. This way, even if you didn't read a page of the assigned weakly readings you would walk away from section with a sufficient understanding of the concepts, themes, and essential information within each reading. Her grading of papers was, in my view, balanced. I wouldn't say it was easy per se but it surely was not unfair or harsh and you essentially got the grade you deserved. She is incredibly understanding and sympathetic to circumstances and will generously grant exentions if you have at least some reason.
Fall 2022 - YES, TAKE THIS CLASS! Professor McBride is by far one of the BEST professors at UCLA, so you should feel fully confident in taking any of his classes. He is a very understanding professor, and is genuinely trying to make sure that everyone does well, he is not out to get you at all. His lectures are great, he posts the lectures slides (super informative) and does a great job covering the material thoroughly & reviewing for the midterm. In-person midterm, take-home paper final, couple other assignments mixed in throughout the quarter but very manageable. Would 100% recommend.
Spring 2022 - This class was different to other history classes I have taken, which I liked. Obviously, the foundation of the class is watching films from this era, and I think the professor picked a really nice variety of films. I liked some better than others but none were awful. Definitely take notes on the films and on the film elements that McBride discusses at the beginning of the class. The class meets once a week which I found very manageable. Overall would suggest that anyone interested in the subject material take this class because it is a less convential way of learning about history.