Rethinking Cold War Culture Edited By: Peter J. Kuznick And James Gilbert Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001.

1533 words - 6 pages

Rethinking Cold War Culture is written by many authors, in fact each chapter is written by a different person. The book's chapters are edited by Peter J. Kuznick and James Gilbert, whom also wrote the introduction to the book. In this paper I will first give a summary of the book, then I will show what methods are used and what ideologies are expressed throughout the book, and finally I will argue which authors points throughout the book I agree with and I disagree with. Because there are different authors in this book, each author has a specific view of what the Cold War meant to American people and which American people it actually affected. I will argue that the Cold War affected every person in America from the time of the end of World War II August 14, 1945 all the way up until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The term "Cold War" itself infers that the war was in fact, cold, that there was never any physical fighting. I will also argue that although there was no fighting, the Cold War was an emotional and psychological war. The Cold War was a psychological war to many Americans in that they constantly had to live in fear of a nuclear attack. The Cold War was also an emotional war in that people's ideas of fear, hatred, and happiness all changed due to a change in the things people saw from the likes of Life magazine or newsreels that would be shown before a full length movie, usually a movie based on World War II.To summarize this book in one paragraph would be a difficult endeavor because the book is written by so many different authors and each author brings their own specific viewpoint, or at least the cover a specific topic that they have achieved mastery at. For purposes of this paper, I will give an overview of the points all the authors are trying to make. To start, the book does not argue that, as many people would, the Cold War was directly responsible for every change in American society; instead it added its own unique features to the American culture. In the introduction the editors can be quoted as saying "We take strong issue with those observers who have found the Cold War to be responsible for ever change and cultural distortion occurring during these years." This quote shows how the authors strongly disagree with any person saying the Cold War really shaped American culture for the better part of five decades.When I was done reading the book I found the editors left a very important factor out. Throughout the book, each author that would talk about people would mention women and children and men, which obviously cover minorities, however, the authors do not make any specific argument in any chapter that deals specifically with the way the Cold War affected how people thought about minorities, or even how minorities thought about the Cold War. A few chapter's throughout the book deal directly with how the Cold War affected, children, how it affected gender roles, and how it affected American workers in factories. The...

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