The Culture of the Cold War

3254 Words14 Pages
The Culture of the Cold War After world war one peace looked inevitable. Everyone was wrong about this because a few years later world war two erupted. This great war was supposed to be the war to end all wars. In this war it was crystal clear who was the good side and who was the bad side. Almost everyone figured that if the bad side was defeated then peace couldn’t possibly escape us again. We defeated the evil Axis powers, but of course another serpent would rear its ugly head from behind the curtains. This period of a “cold war” after world war two has become one of the most complex and studied eras since America’s birth. This state of paradoxes, paranoia, and public disorientation has only ended a few years ago, but its consequences will probably stretch on into the distant future. Stephen Whitfield exhibits flawlessly how the culture that has arisen from this extraordinary era is truly a marvel of the psychology of the human mind. During the era after the war a truly devastating “specter”, as Whitfield puts it, was present. This monster’s birth came from the writings of Karl Marx whose views were almost completely opposite from all of our capitalistic views. With these teachings Vladmir Lenin had taken over the entire country of Russia. This revolution spread to a few other countries so many figured that it could quite possibly happen here. All those with any sort of power or holding in these present state of affairs would stop at nothing to keep halt a new sort of reign. These people, according to Whitfield, were politicians of all kinds, businessmen, clergy, almost everyone. By communism infringing on sacred trysts of American ideals it became more hated then almost any crime during this time. There was a real r... ... middle of paper ... ...the other wonderful aspects of America that dominated the culture during this time. Whitfield truly demonstrated the unique culture of this era of the cold war. America was a conformist, paranoid nation that obeyed everything and anything which the authority commanded in fear of persecution. This oppressed culture is best expressed by the expulsion of all of these bottled up sentiments in the next decade. Our culture was based on the old FDR adage regarding World War II, “There is nothing to fear except fear itself”. The politics of this era created an invisible, evil scapegoat for all the problems in the world and kept the people under an almost Stalinist totalitarian rule with this propaganda for a little over a decade. The culture of this era was truly something else and Stephen Whitield really did a fine job trying to figure out what that “something” really was.
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