The Cold War between the United States and the Communists in France and Italy
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Cover and Front Matter
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Contents and Illustrations
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At first, I thought I could write this book quickly and without much aid. Of course, like most academics caught in the passion of discovery, I was mistaken. The scope of the research would not have been possible without the assistance of several institutions and individuals. I have also benefited from the critical insights of colleagues...
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At the onset of the Cold War, Palmiro Togliatti and George F. Kennan shared a particular vision of America. The leader of the fastest growing Communist Party in the West and the architect of America’s containment strategy against Soviet Communism, from their opposite points of view, nurtured a similar pessimism about...
1. THE COMMUNISTS AND NATIONAL REBIRTH IN FRANCE AND ITALY, 1944–1946
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America’s confrontation with Western European Communism was as meaningful as its clash with Soviet Communism. Although the postwar growth of the French and Italian Communist Parties highlighted economic distress and quickly induced American policy makers to seek economic solutions, the leftist appeal was broader than...
2. CONFRONTING THE COMMUNISTS IN GOVERNMENT: The American Response, 1944–1947
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The absolute and overreacting nature of the struggle between the United States and Western European Communism after World War II soon became apparent to most American officials. The self-assigned identity and role of the French and Italian Communist Parties clashed profoundly with the self-image and international role...
3. POLARIZED CONFRONTATION: U.S. Aid and Propaganda versus Cominform in France and Italy, 1947–1950
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America’s “permanent revolution,” which, according to a 1951 propaganda book with that subtitle, envisioned a land of ultimate emancipation for every individual and “for all human spirit”1 on Earth, had a compelling premise in another revolution, that of “rising expectations.” This was how U.S. economic advisor Harlan Cleveland...
4. COMMUNIST PEACE CAMPAIGNS AND AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE, 1948–1955
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The Cold War communist peace campaign officially began in August 1948 with the Wrocław World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace. But the PCF had already mobilized a few months earlier under the drive of Resistance leader Charles Tillon, who, through contacts with prominent French intellectuals, helped found Combattants...
5. THE CULTURAL COLD WAR AT ITS PEAK: Mass Culture and Intellectuals, 1948–1956
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The Cold War struggle over ideas and mass culture was as crucial as the confrontations in the political, economic, and military arenas. This is now a widely accepted conclusion. The United States strove not only to demonstrate cultural superiority over the Soviet Union but also to defuse widespread anti-Americanism in Western...
6. DIPLOMATIC MANEUVERING: Communist and American Interplay of Foreign and Domestic Policies during the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations
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As U.S. permanent representative at the United Nations, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. found himself in a privileged position to detect shifts in the climate of world opinion. As a seasoned former senator and convinced internationalist, Lodge also understood the interconnection between the diplomacy and the domestic politics of America’s...
7. REDEFINING OPPRESSION: The 1960s, from Affluence to Youth Protest
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Europe’s economic miracles were not only about growth, prosperity, and full employment. With the arrival of mass consumption, the diffusion of visual media, and the shaping of a new social order that privileged the private sphere over communal life, the “miracle” also heralded a profound cultural transformation. Starting in the...
8. REDEFINING INTERDEPENDENCE: The Eurocommunism of the 1970s and the U.S. Response
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Affluence and protest in the 1960s, under an apparent revival of collectivist ideologies, marked in fact the beginning of an era mostly defined by individualist sensibilities and desire for personal fulfillment. At the same time, the Prague Spring contributed to the dismantling of ideological certainties. And yet the convergence...
EPILOGUE: Cultural and Political Decline
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In the face of sharp economic downturns, the radicalism and optimism of the 1960s gave way to anxiety. Most radicals, it has been widely recognized, “abandoned ‘the Revolution’ and worried instead about their job prospects.” This retrenchment did not necessarily mean a loss for the Communists. They still profited from the general...
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Communist strength in France and Italy was a pivotal threat to U.S. interests for most of the Cold War. In itself, it warranted attention and carefully crafted strategies in Washington. But, seen in the context of European anti-Americanism, the threat transcended the confines of French and Italian politics. From the point of view of...
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Page Count: 552
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: The New Cold War History