Broadcasting Freedom: The Cold War Triumph of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

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University Press of Kentucky, Dec 1, 2000 - History - 382 pages
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Among America's most unusual and successful weapons during the Cold War were Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. RFE-RL had its origins in a post-war America brimming with confidence and secure in its power. Unlike the Voice of America, which conveyed a distinctly American perspective on global events, RFE-RL served as surrogate home radio services and a vital alternative to the controlled, party-dominated domestic press in Eastern Europe. Over twenty stations featured programming tailored to individual countries. They reached millions of listeners ranging from industrial workers to dissident leaders such as Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel. Broadcasting Freedom draws on rare archival material and offers a penetrating insider history of the radios that helped change the face of Europe. Arch Puddington reveals new information about the connections between RFE-RL and the CIA, which provided covert funding for the stations during the critical start-up years in the early 1950s. He relates in detail the efforts of Soviet and Eastern Bloc officials to thwart the stations; their tactics ranged from jamming attempts, assassinations of radio journalists, the infiltration of spies onto the radios' staffs, and the bombing of the radios' headquarters. Puddington addresses the controversies that engulfed the stations throughout the Cold War, most notably RFE broadcasts during the Hungarian Revolution that were described as inflammatory and irresponsible. He shows how RFE prevented the Communist authorities from establishing a monopoly on the dissemination of information in Poland and describes the crucial roles played by the stations as the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union broke apart. Broadcasting Freedom is also a portrait of the Cold War in America. Puddington offers insights into the strategic thinking of the RFE-RL leadership and those in the highest circles of American government, including CIA directors, secretaries of state, and even presidents.
 

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Contents

It Will Be Seen Who Is Right
1
Crusade for Freedom
20
The Mills of God Grind Slowly
33
We Tore a Big Hole in the Iron Curtain
61
RightWingers and Revanchists
73
Revolution in Hungary and Crisis at Radio Free Europe
89
Peaceful Coexistence
115
The Iron Curtain Was Not Soundproof
135
Senator Fulbrights Crusade
187
Frequency Wars
214
Bombs Spies Poisoned Umbrellas
225
The Reagan Years
253
Victory
284
Epilogue
307
Policy Guidances
314
Notes
341

August 21 1968
142
From Liberation to Liberty
153
The Perils of Ostpolitik
175

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Page x - With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, our security environment has undergone profound transformation.
Page 11 - The cause of freedom is being challenged throughout the world today by the forces of imperialistic communism. This is a struggle, above all else, for the minds of men. Propaganda is one of the most powerful weapons the Communists have in this struggle. Deceit, distortion, and lies are systematically used by them as a matter of deliberate policy.
Page 15 - The propagandist is a man who canalizes an already existing stream. In a land where there is no water, he digs in vain.
Page 11 - Development of programs designed to build and maintain confidence among other peoples in our strength and resolution, and to wage overt psychological warfare calculated to encourage mass defections from Soviet allegiance and to frustrate the Kremlin design in other ways.

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About the author (2000)

Puddington, deputy director of the New York radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty from 1976 to 1985, is a journalist and commentator.

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