American Girls and Global Responsibility brings together insights from Cold War culture studies, girls’ studies, and the history of gender and militarization to shed new light on how age and gender work together to form categories of citizenship.
Jennifer Helgren argues that a new internationalist girl citizenship took root in the country in the years following World War II in youth organizations such as Camp Fire Girls, Girl Scouts, YWCA Y-Teens, schools, and even magazines like Seventeen. She shows the particular ways that girls’ identities and roles were configured, and reveals the links between internationalist youth culture, mainstream U.S. educational goals, and the U.S. government in creating and marketing that internationalist girl, thus shaping the girls’ sense of responsibilities as citizens.
The American labor movement seemed poised on the threshold of unparalleled success at the beginning of the post-World War II era. Fourteen million strong in 1946, unions represented thirty five percent of non-agricultural workers. Why then did the gains made between the 1930s and the end of the war produce so few results by the 1960s?
This collection addresses the history of labor in the postwar years by exploring the impact of the global contest between the United States and the Soviet Union on American workers and labor unions. The essays focus on the actual behavior of Americans in their diverse workplaces and communities during the Cold War. Where previous scholarship on labor and the Cold War has overemphasized the importance of the Communist Party, the automobile industry, and Hollywood, this book focuses on politically moderate, conservative workers and union leaders, the medium-sized cities that housed the majority of the population, and the Roman Catholic Church. These are all original essays that draw upon extensive archival research and some upon oral history sources.
Between December 1953 and June 1954, the elite think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) joined prominent figures in International Relations, including Pennsylvania’s Robert Strausz-Hupé, Yale’s Arnold Wolfers, the Rockefeller Foundation’s William Thompson, government adviser Dorothy Fosdick, and nuclear strategist William Kaufmann. They spent seven meetings assessing approaches to world politics—from the “realist” theory of Hans Morgenthau to theories of imperialism of Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin—to discern basic elements of a theory of international relations.
The study group’s materials are an indispensable window to the development of IR theory, illuminating the seeds of the theory-practice nexus in Cold War U.S. foreign policy. Historians of International Relations recently revised the standard narrative of the field’s origins, showing that IR witnessed a sharp turn to theoretical consideration of international politics beginning around 1950, and remained preoccupied with theory. Taking place in 1953–54, the CFR study group represents a vital snapshot of this shift.
This book situates the CFR study group in its historical and historiographical contexts, and offers a biographical analysis of the participants. It includes seven preparatory papers on diverse theoretical approaches, penned by former Berkeley political scientist George A. Lipsky, followed by the digest of discussions from the study group meetings. American Power and International Theory at the Council on Foreign Relations, 1953–54 offers new insights into the early development of IR as well as the thinking of prominent elites in the early years of the Cold War.
America’s Miracle Man in Vietnam rethinks the motivations behind one of the most ruinous foreign-policy decisions of the postwar era: America’s commitment to preserve an independent South Vietnam under the premiership of Ngo Dinh Diem. The so-called Diem experiment is usually ascribed to U.S. anticommunism and an absence of other candidates for South Vietnam’s highest office. Challenging those explanations, Seth Jacobs utilizes religion and race as categories of analysis to argue that the alliance with Diem cannot be understood apart from America’s mid-century religious revival and policymakers’ perceptions of Asians. Jacobs contends that Diem’s Catholicism and the extent to which he violated American notions of “Oriental” passivity and moral laxity made him a more attractive ally to Washington than many non-Christian South Vietnamese with greater administrative experience and popular support.
A diplomatic and cultural history, America’s Miracle Man in Vietnam draws on government archives, presidential libraries, private papers, novels, newspapers, magazines, movies, and television and radio broadcasts. Jacobs shows in detail how, in the 1950s, U.S. policymakers conceived of Cold War anticommunism as a crusade in which Americans needed to combine with fellow Judeo-Christians against an adversary dangerous as much for its atheism as for its military might. He describes how racist assumptions that Asians were culturally unready for democratic self-government predisposed Americans to excuse Diem’s dictatorship as necessary in “the Orient.” By focusing attention on the role of American religious and racial ideologies, Jacobs makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of the disastrous commitment of the United States to “sink or swim with Ngo Dinh Diem.”
During the 1960s, Charles de Gaulle’s greatest quarrel was with the Americans. The American attitude towards this forceful European leader was, however, an equally defining part of the dispute. In this riveting study of transatlantic international relations, Sebastian Reyn traces American responses to de Gaulle’s foreign policy from 1958 to 1969, concluding that how Americans judged de Gaulle depended largely on whether their politics leaned to the left or the right.
Dark Days in the Newsroom traces how journalists became radicalized during the Depression era, only to become targets of Senator Joseph McCarthy and like-minded anti-Communist crusaders during the 1950s. Edward Alwood, a former news correspondent describes this remarkable story of conflict, principle, and personal sacrifice with noticeable élan. He shows how McCarthy's minions pried inside newsrooms thought to be sacrosanct under the First Amendment, and details how journalists mounted a heroic defense of freedom of the press while others secretly enlisted in the government's anti-communist crusade.
Relying on previously undisclosed documents from FBI files, along with personal interviews, Alwood provides a richly informed commentary on one of the most significant moments in the history of American journalism. Arguing that the experiences of the McCarthy years profoundly influenced the practice of journalism, he shows how many of the issues faced by journalists in the 1950s prefigure today's conflicts over the right of journalists to protect their sources.
In today’s world of rapid advancements in science and technology, we need to scrutinize more than ever the historical forces that shape our perceptions of what these new possibilities can and cannot do for social progress. In Sputnik’s Shadow provides a lens to do just that, by tracing the rise and fall of the President’s Science Advisory Committee from its ascendance under Eisenhower in the wake of the Soviet launching of Sputnik to its demise during the Nixon years. Members of this committee shared a strong sense of technological skepticism; they were just as inclined to advise the president about what technology couldn’t do—for national security, space exploration, arms control, and environmental protection—as about what it could do.
Zuoyue Wang examines key turning points during the twentieth century, including the beginning of the Cold War, the debates over nuclear weapons, the Sputnik crisis in 1957, the struggle over the Vietnam War, and the eventual end of the Cold War, showing how the involvement of scientists in executive policymaking evolved over time. Bringing new insights to the intellectual, social, and cultural histories of the era, this book not only depicts the drama of Cold War American science, it gives perspective to how we think about technological advancements today.
In 1960, when Japan revised the postwar treaty that allows a U.S. military presence in Japan, the popular backlash changed the evolution of Japan’s politics and culture, and its global role. Nick Kapur’s analysis helps resolve Japan’s essential paradox as being innovative yet regressive, flexible yet resistant, imaginative yet wedded to tradition.
The compelling story of a teenage girl caught up in the throes of the McCarthy era.
Margaret Fuchs was thirteen in June 1955 when she learned that her parents had been Communists while working for the U.S. government in the 1930s and '40s. This book chronicles the years during which her parents were exposed and her father was subpoenaed before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Eventually he named names, and subsequently lost his job as a law professor at American University, and was blacklisted from teaching ever again. Legacy of a False Promise also details the author's quest as an adult to learn whether or not her parents ever spied for the Soviet Union.
Based on eight years of research using family records, FBI files, American University archives, personal interviews, and the recently declassified Venona cables, Legacy of a False Promise offers unique insights into the McCarthy Era. Most "red-diaper babies" who have written on the subject had parents who refused to give in to HUAC's demands. Singer's work instead recounts the shame and series of betrayals that her father's decision to name names brought to her family. Furthermore, it explores the campaign of the liberal anti-Communist movement to publicize its political position while defending a fired ex-Communist professor, the nature and activities of secret Communist underground cells, and the motivation of New Deal government workers who spied for the Soviets.
This is a poignant meditation on family secrets, father-daughter relationships in times of crisis, teenage loneliness in the midst of trauma, and the effects of parents' actions on the lives of their children. It also serves as a timely reminder of the dangers of sacrificing civil liberties in the name of national security.
The Eisenhower administration's intervention in Guatemala is one of the most closely studied covert operations in the history of the Cold War. Yet we know far more about the 1954 coup itself than its aftermath. This book uses the concept of “counterrevolution” to trace the Eisenhower administration's efforts to restore U.S. hegemony in a nation whose reform governments had antagonized U.S. economic interests and the local elite.
Comparing the Guatemalan case to U.S.-sponsored counterrevolutions in Iran, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Chile reveals that Washington's efforts to roll back “communism” in Latin America and elsewhere during the Cold War represented in reality a short-term strategy to protect core American interests from the rising tide of Third World nationalism.
When he discovers that his father worked on missiles for a defense contractor, Jeff Porter is inspired to revisit America’s atomic past and our fallen heroes, in particular J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. The result, Oppenheimer Is Watching Me, takes readers back to the cold war, when men in lab coats toyed with the properties of matter and fears of national security troubled our sleep. With an eye for strange symmetries, Porter traces how one panicky moment shaped the lives of a generation.