Anti-Communism and Popular Culture in Mid-Century America (Google eBook)

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McFarland, Dec 19, 2002 - Social Science - 183 pages
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Not long after the Allied victories in Europe and Japan, America's attention turned from world war to cold war. The perceived threat of communism had a definite and significant impact on all levels of American popular culture, from government propaganda films like Red Nightmare in Time magazine to Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. This work examines representations of anti-communist sentiment in American popular culture from the early fifties through the mid-sixties. The discussion covers television programs, films, novels, journalism, maps, memoirs, and other works that presented anti-communist ideology to millions of Americans and influenced their thinking about these controversial issues. It also points out the different strands of anti-communist rhetoric, such as liberal and countersubversive ones, that dominated popular culture in different media, and tells a much more complicated story about producers' and consumers' ideas about communism through close study of the cultural artifacts of the Cold War.
  

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Contents

Paranoiac Discourse and AntiCommunism
17
Internal and External Communism in Popular Film
26
The Individual Russian and the Communist System
39
AntiCommunism and Ambivalence in Science Fiction
51
Criminals and Communists in Fifties Popular Culture
66
AntiCommunism and Movie Serials
75
Cold War Parody
82
Nuclear Apocalypse and AntiCommunism
96
Cold War Confessions and the FBI Plant
107
AntiCommunism and the Business World
120
The Bear and the Dragon Representations of Communism in Early Sixties American Culture
129
Conclusion
143
Works Cited
162
Index
170
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Page 15 - I lived only to kill the scum and the lice that wanted to kill themselves. I lived to kill so that others could live. I lived to kill because my soul was a hardened thing that revelled in the thought of taking the blood of the bastards who made murder their business.
Page 14 - Communism, in reality, is not a political party. It is a way of life — an evil and malignant way of life. It reveals a condition akin to disease that spreads like an epidemic and like an epidemic a quarantine is necessary to keep it from infecting the nation.

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About the author (2002)

Cyndy Hendershot is an associate professor of English at Arkansas State University and the author of four books of literary criticism (including this one). She has published articles in Science-Fiction Studies, Mosaic, and Literature and Psychology and other journals.

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