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Roots of the Cold War

A interview about the Cold War.

Dylan Butterfield

on 15 May 2014

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Transcript of Roots of the Cold War

Roots of the Cold War
By :Dylan Butterfield

Melissa Stephens
Date of Birth:1967
Places lived between 1945 and 1989: N/A
Date and Time of interview: 5/6/14 @ 3:25 p.m.
Interview Questions
What was the first time you remember hearing about the Soviet Union (or the USSR) and its conflict with the United States? Tell me about it.

2. What do you remember seeing or reading in the news about the Cold War?

3. What books did you read or movies did you watch that villainized the Soviet Union or dealt with the Cold War? How did they shape your impressions at that time?

4. What were you taught in school and at home about the Soviet Union? What did your school and family teach about nuclear threats and nuclear war?

5. Were you or any of your family members ever afraid that there would be a hot war or nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union? When did you feel that way? If yes, did you do anything to prepare or get ready for it?

6. What aspects of the Space Race do you remember? Was "Space Race" a phrase that you remember using at the time? What did it mean to you?

7. How was the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union promoted in sports? Can you think of any specific examples?

8. Do you remember the Berlin Wall coming down? How did it make you feel? How have your feelings about that era changed since 1989 and the Berlin Wall coming down?

9. How do you think future generations will remember the Cold War? What lessons should students today take away from the Cold War?
My Two Questions
Did you feel that the United States did the right thing in order to defeat the Soviet Union? If not why.

Do you think that they could have done something different to the Soviets? why
1. The USSR was usually referred to as that communist country. My general impression was that we were democrats and they were communists. We were taught that the Russian people were very poor and didn't have any possessions or personal wealth. They didn't have freedom like American people did.
2. The only time I remember reading about the cold war was in school. They did not go into great detail. I just remember thinking that at any minute the USSR could launch an attack against the United States because they hated us.
3. I can't remember specific movies but the worst portrayal of the USSR was in old cartoons that were meant as propaganda for World War II. They showed the USSR army/government as something to be changed. Also in movies they always were portrayed as evil, controlling men that wanted to destroy our way of life.
Answers Cont.
4. At home the only time we would discuss something like the "Cold War" was if I brought the subject up for explanation or clarification. We always knew via the nightly news and newspapers that nuclear threat was always a possibility.
5. I don't remember being specifically afraid of the cold war turning hot. We didn't do anything to prepare in case of a nuclear attack.
6. I remember reading about the "Space Race" Most of it happened before I was born. Funny thing is my very first memory was watching the landing of the moon with my father. It was right before my 2nd birthday. I guess he made such a big deal about it that it stuck in my memory.
7. I distinctly remember the 1980's Olympics. The sportscasters definitely egged on the U.S vs Russia athletes.

What from the interview did I find most surprising?
I learned a lot of different things that I would have never known if I hadn't interviewed Melissa.
How might a Russian adult have responded to the interview?
Instead of telling me what the Americans thought about the USSR she would have told me about what the USSR thought about the Americans. Also she would have told me about what the Americans did and why they needed to be defeated.
Answers Cont.
8.I remember watching the Berlin wall coming down. It was incredible thing to watch and the determination of the German people to make sure it was coming down.
9. The lessons that future generations should take away from the cold war is that "hot war" is not necessary to solve issues. The cold war opened up negotiations and even a hot line between the 2 countries to make sure that we never reached the point of no return on negotiations.
10. Reagan overspent are budget to create a "Star Wars" military. The Russians could not keep up and that helped slow down and stop the arms race.
11. Ultimately the cold war ended because Gorbachev came into rule and changed how his "country" was ran. He's rule changed and ultimately became the down fall of the USSR.
Thank You
I would like to think Ms. Melissa for taking time and answering these questions for me.
Full transcript