Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945-1961
Parting the Curtain reveals the key roles played by programs that gave Soviets and Eastern Europeans a glimpse of the good life that could be lived in a democracy. The sweet taste of soda pop, the soft purring of a car engine, and the alluring low cut bodice of an evening gown became just as powerful as guns and troops in the eventual parting of the Iron Curtain at the end of the Eisenhower years. Walter Hixson provides a fascinating analysis of the breakthrough 1958 U.S.-Soviet cultural agreement, as well as a comprehensive, multiarchival history of the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow. In focusing on American propaganda and cultural infiltration of the Soviet empire in these years, Parting the Curtain emerges as a study of U.S. Cold War diplomacy as well as a chronicle of the clash of cultures that took place during this period.