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Cold War Culture

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Simon Willmetts

on 9 October 2013

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Transcript of Cold War Culture

Cold War
Soviet Aggression
USA = reactive/defensive
USSR = motivated by opressive ideology
USA = reactive

US Expansion
Economic Imperialism
USSR = reacting to US provocation.
William Appleman Williams

Post Revisionism
'Neither side can bear sole responsibility for the onset of the Cold War.' (John Lewis Gaddis)
Synthesis of revisionism and orthodoxy.
Misperception and Misunderstanding.
The Global Cold War
Division of Europe - Yalta/Potsdam.
"Iron Curtain" (Churchill, March 1946 - Fulton, Missouri).
Berlin Blockade (1948-49).
Truman Doctrine/Marshall Plan.
China goes communist (1949).
Soviet detonate atomic bomb (1949).
Warsaw Pact (1955)
Hungarian Revolution (1956)
Origins of the Cold War
US Open Door Policy (1890s)
Spanish-American War (1898).
Manifest Destiny.
Hiroshima (1945)
Truman Doctrine / Marshall Plan (1947)
Freedom's War
Cold War America governed by ideology just as much as the Soviet Union.
Freedom = ideological.
America aggressively promots its ideology of freedom through propaganda.
Cold War = conflict fought primarily through ideology/culture.

Why does culture matter?

What, if anything, does culture have to do with the Cold War?
Cold War = War of Ideologies.
Ideology permeates society through culture.
History, politics, economics and society of Cold War cannot, therefore, be understood without reference to culture.
American Ideology = "Freedom".
America promoted ideology through sponsorship of cultural groups and individuals that represented the idea of "freedom".
America were just aggressive as Soviet Union in promoting their culture/ideology.
CIA sponsored vast array of elite artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians to appeal to the European non-Communist left.
"It occurs to me that the apparatus for the creation and maintenance of celebrities is vastly in excess of material fit to be celebrated." (Philip Larkin)
The CIA and Cold War Culture
Full transcript