Across the Blocs: Exploring Comparative Cold War Cultural by Patrick Major, Rana Mitter

By Patrick Major, Rana Mitter

This ebook asks the reader to re-evaluate the chilly struggle not only as superpower clash and excessive international relations, yet as social and cultural historical past. It makes cross-cultural comparisons of the socio cultural features of the chilly conflict around the East/West block divide, facing matters together with broadcasting, public opinion, and the creation and intake of pop culture.

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Extra info for Across the Blocs: Exploring Comparative Cold War Cultural and Social History (Cold War History)

Example text

We find politicking, compromises and weakness in Murrow’s tenure at USIA, but there are undeniable flashes of principle too. An apologist would say that Murrow’s health was not good enough for more, but realistically many of the same failings could be found in the better-known periods of Murrow’s media career. One must remember that the man who brought See it Now to the screen also fronted the scripted celebrity interview show Person to Person. Murrow 33 always in the realm of images and his tenure at USIA proved no exception.

JFKL POF, Depts. and Agencies: USIA, box 91, Murrow to President, 1 Sept. 1961 and undated ‘reactions to nuclear tests’. 584–5. 38. JFKL WHCF Subject file: FG296 USIA, box 184, Executive, Murrow to all posts, 27 Sept. 1961. 39. 476. 40. Interviews: Len Reed, 12 Dec. 1995; Cliff Groce, 30 Nov. 1995; Alex Klieforth, 7 Jan. 1997. 41. USIA HB, USIA 17th Review of Operations, 1 July–31 Dec. 16–18; JFKL VOA microfilm, reel 5, Loomis to Murrow, IBS Monthly Report, 18 Dec. 604/11–561, Thompson to USIA, 5 Nov.

18 Director Mikhail Romm shared this understanding. Looking back from the rather different perspective of late 1946, he recalled this period as one in which creative workers believed that there would be quite a long period of peace, and that as Soviet films would be shown in the West, they should be intelligible to and popular with westerners. 19 It is certainly true that several Soviet films of this period, such as Bliznetsy (Twins, 1945), Bespokoinoe khoziaistvo (Anxious Management, 1946) and Nebesnyi tikhokhod (The Celestial Sloth, 1945), exhibit characteristics more typically associated with Hollywood—a lightness of tone, humour and a focus on relationships and private life.

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