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Upstaging the Cold War

Upstaging the Cold War

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About the Book

Traditional interpretations of the 1950s have emphasized how American anti-communists deployed censorship and the blacklist to silence dissent, particularly in the realm of foreign policy. Yet those efforts at repression did not always succeed. Throughout the early years of the Cold War, a significant number of writers and performers continued to express controversial views about international relations in Hollywood films, through the new medium of television, on the Broadway stage, and from behind the scenes.

By promoting superpower cooperation, decolonization, nuclear disarmament, and other taboo causes, dissident artists such as Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, Rod Serling, Dalton Trumbo, Reginald Rose, and Paddy Chayefsky managed both to stretch the boundaries of Cold War ideology and to undermine some of its basic assumptions. Working at times under assumed names and in some cases outside the United States, they took on the role of informal diplomats who competed with Washington in representing America to the world.

Ironically, the dissidents' international appeal eventually persuaded the U.S. foreign policy establishment that their unconventional views could be an asset in the Cold War contest for hearts and minds, and their artistic work an effective means to sell American values and culture abroad. By the end of the 1950s, the Eisenhower administration not only appropriated the work of these talented artists but enlisted some of them to serve as official voices of Cold War cultural diplomacy.
About the Author: Andrew J. Falk is assistant professor of history at Christopher Newport University.

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781558499034
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publisher Imprint: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Depth: 19
  • Height: 226 mm
  • No of Pages: 280
  • Series Title: Culture and Politics in the Cold War and Beyond
  • Sub Title: American Dissent and Cultural Diplomacy, 1940-1960
  • Width: 150 mm
  • ISBN-10: 1558499032
  • Publisher Date: 07 Jul 2011
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Edition: Reprint
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: Y
  • Spine Width: 18 mm
  • Weight: 385 gr

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