Manhood and American Political Culture in the Cold War

Author: K.A. Cuordileone
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113605510X
Format: PDF
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Manhood and American Political Culture in the Cold War explores the meaning of anxiety as expressed through the political and cultural language of the early cold war era. Cuordileone shows how the preoccupation with the soft, malleable American character reflected not only anti-Communism but acute anxieties about manhood and sexuality. Reading major figures like Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Adlai Stevenson, Joseph McCarthy, Norman Mailer, JFK, and many lesser known public figures, Cuordileone reveals how the era’s cult of toughness shaped the political dynamics of the time and inspired a reinvention of the liberal as a cold warrior.

Cold War Orientalism

Author: Christina Klein
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520936256
Format: PDF
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In the years following World War II, American writers and artists produced a steady stream of popular stories about Americans living, working, and traveling in Asia and the Pacific. Meanwhile the U.S., competing with the Soviet Union for global power, extended its reach into Asia to an unprecedented degree. This book reveals that these trends—the proliferation of Orientalist culture and the expansion of U.S. power—were linked in complex and surprising ways. While most cultural historians of the Cold War have focused on the culture of containment, Christina Klein reads the postwar period as one of international economic and political integration—a distinct chapter in the process of U.S.-led globalization. Through her analysis of a wide range of texts and cultural phenomena—including Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific and The King and I, James Michener's travel essays and novel Hawaii, and Eisenhower's People-to-People Program—Klein shows how U.S. policy makers, together with middlebrow artists, writers, and intellectuals, created a culture of global integration that represented the growth of U.S. power in Asia as the forging of emotionally satisfying bonds between Americans and Asians. Her book enlarges Edward Said's notion of Orientalism in order to bring to light a cultural narrative about both domestic and international integration that still resonates today.

Imperial Brotherhood

Author: Robert D. Dean
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 9781558494145
Format: PDF, ePub
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This provocative book begins with a question about the Vietnam War. How is it, asks Robert D. Dean, that American policymakers -- men who prided themselves on "hardheaded pragmatism" and shunned "fuzzy idealism" -- could have committed the nation to such a ruinous, costly, and protracted war? The answer, he argues, lies not simply in the imperatives of anticommunist ideology or in any reasonable calculation of national interest. At least as decisive in determining the form and content of American Cold War foreign policy were the common background and shared values of its makers, especially their deeply ingrained sense of upper-class masculinity. Dean begins by examining the institutions that shaped the members of the U.S. foreign policy establishment -- all-male prep schools, Ivy League universities, collegiate secret societies, and exclusive men's clubs -- that instilled stoic ideals of competition, duty, and loyalty. Service in elite military units during World War II further reinforced this pattern of socialization, eventually creating an "imperial brotherhood" imbued with a common global vision. More than that, according to Dean, the commitment to tough-minded masculinity shared by these men encouraged the pursuit of policies that were aggressively interventionist abroad and intolerant of dissent at home. Applying his gendered analysis to the McCarthy era, Dean reveals how the purge of suspected homosexuals in the State Department not only paralleled the repression of the political left, but also reflected a bitter contest for power between the foreign policy elite and provincial Congressional conservatives. He then shows how issues of manliness similarly influenced the politics and policies of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Just as programs like the Peace Corps were grounded in ideals of masculine heroism, decisions about intervention in Vietnam were inextricably bound up with ideas about male strength and power. In the end, Dean makes a persuasive case that these elite constructions of male identity fundamentally shaped the course of American foreign policy during the early decades of the Cold War.

Homosexuality in Cold War America

Author: Robert J. Corber
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822319641
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Challenging widely held assumptions about postwar gay male culture and politics, Homosexuality in Cold War America examines how gay men in the 1950s resisted pressures to remain in the closet. Robert J. Corber argues that a form of gay male identity emerged in the 1950s that simultaneously drew on and transcended left-wing opposition to the Cold War cultural and political consensus. Combining readings of novels, plays, and films of the period with historical research into the national security state, the growth of the suburbs, and postwar consumer culture, Corber examines how gay men resisted the "organization man" model of masculinity that rose to dominance in the wake of World War II. By exploring the representation of gay men in film noir, Corber suggests that even as this Hollywood genre reinforced homophobic stereotypes, it legitimized the gay male "gaze." He emphasizes how film noir’s introduction of homosexual characters countered the national "project" to render gay men invisible, and marked a deep subversion of the Cold War mentality. Corber then considers the work of gay male writers Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, and James Baldwin, demonstrating how these authors declined to represent homosexuality as a discrete subculture and instead promoted a model of political solidarity rooted in the shared experience of oppression. Homosexuality in Cold War America reveals that the ideological critique of the dominant culture made by gay male authors of the 1950s laid the foundation for the gay liberation movement of the following decade.

Fighting for American Manhood

Author: Kristin L. Hoganson
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300085549
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book blends international relations and gender history to provide a new understanding of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars. Kristin L. Hoganson shows how gendered ideas about citizenship and political leadership influenced jingoist political leaders' desire to wage these conflicts, and she traces how they manipulated ideas about gender to embroil the nation in war. She argues that racial beliefs were only part of the cultural framework that undergirded U.S. martial policies at the turn of the century. Gender beliefs, often working in tandem with racial beliefs, affected the rise and fall of the nation's imperialist impulse.

I Am a Man

Author: Steve Estes
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807876336
Format: PDF, ePub
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The civil rights movement was first and foremost a struggle for racial equality, but questions of gender lay deeply embedded within this struggle. Steve Estes explores key groups, leaders, and events in the movement to understand how activists used race and manhood to articulate their visions of what American society should be. Estes demonstrates that, at crucial turning points in the movement, both segregationists and civil rights activists harnessed masculinist rhetoric, tapping into implicit assumptions about race, gender, and sexuality. Estes begins with an analysis of the role of black men in World War II and then examines the segregationists, who demonized black male sexuality and galvanized white men behind the ideal of southern honor. He then explores the militant new models of manhood espoused by civil rights activists such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and groups such as the Nation of Islam, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Black Panther Party. Reliance on masculinist organizing strategies had both positive and negative consequences, Estes concludes. Tracing these strategies from the integration of the U.S. military in the 1940s through the Million Man March in the 1990s, he shows that masculinism rallied men to action but left unchallenged many of the patriarchal assumptions that underlay American society.

A Companion to Post 1945 America

Author: Jean-Christophe Agnew
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1405123192
Format: PDF
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A Companion to Post-1945 America is an original collection of 34 essays by key scholars on the history and historiography of Post-1945 America. Covers society and culture, people and movements, politics and foreign policy Surveys and evaluates the best scholarship on every important era and topic Includes book review section on essential readings

America s Cold War

Author: Campbell Craig
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674053672
Format: PDF
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In a brilliant new interpretation, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall reexamine the successes and failures of America’s Cold War. The United States dealt effectively with the threats of Soviet predominance in Europe and of nuclear war in the early years of the conflict. But by engineering this policy, American leaders successfully paved the way for domestic actors and institutions with a vested interest in the struggle’s continuation. Long after the USSR had been effectively contained, Washington continued to wage a virulent Cold War that entailed a massive arms buildup, wars in Korea and Vietnam, the support of repressive regimes and counterinsurgencies, and a pronounced militarization of American political culture.

How We Forgot the Cold War

Author: Jon Wiener
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520271416
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"Here's a book that would've split the sides of Thucydides. Wiener's magical mystery tour of Cold War museums is simultaneously hilarious and the best thing ever written on public history and its contestation." --Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz "Jon Wiener, an astute observer of how history is perceived by the general public, shows us how official efforts to shape popular memory of the Cold War have failed. His journey across America to visit exhibits, monuments, and other historical sites, demonstrates how quickly the Cold War has faded from popular consciousness. A fascinating and entertaining book." --Eric Foner, author of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 "In How We Forgot the Cold War, Jon Wiener shows how conservatives tried--and failed--to commemorate the Cold War as a noble victory over the global forces of tyranny, a 'good war' akin to World War II. Displaying splendid skills as a reporter in addition to his discerning eye as a scholar, this historian's travelogue convincingly shows how the right sought to extend its preferred policy of 'rollback' to the arena of public memory. In a country where historical memory has become an obsession, Wiener's ability to document the ambiguities and absences in these commemorations is an unusual accomplishment." --Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America "In this terrific piece of scholarly journalism, Jon Wiener imaginatively combines scholarship on the Cold War, contemporary journalism, and his own observations of various sites commemorating the era to describe both what they contain and, just as importantly, what they do not. By interrogating the standard conservative brand of American triumphalism, Wiener offers an interpretation of the Cold War that emphasizes just how unnecessary the conflict was and how deleterious its aftereffects have really been."--Ellen Schrecker, author of Many Are The Crimes: McCarthyism in America