Anti-Communism and Popular Culture in Mid-Century America

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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. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
 

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Contents

1 The Seduction of Communism
9
2 Paranoiac Discourse and AntiCommunism
18
3 Internal and External Communism in Popular Film
27
4 The Individual Russian and the Communist System
40
5 AntiCommunism and Ambivalence in Science Fiction
52
6 Criminals and Communists in Fifties Popular Culture
67
7 AntiCommunism and Movie Serials
76
8 Cold War Parody
83
10 Cold War Confessions and the FBI Plant
108
11 AntiCommunism and the Business World
121
Representations of Communism in Early Sixties American Culture
130
Conclusion
144
Notes
153
Works Cited
163
Index
171
Copyright

9 Nuclear Apocalypse and AntiCommunism
97

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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.

References to this book

American Cold War Culture
Douglas Field
No preview available - 2005
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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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