The Soviet and American Politics of Childhood in the Cold War
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Series: The New Cold War History
Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication
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List of Figures
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For Soviet and American populations in the late 1940s, the fate of the Cold War was tied to the fate of the young. In the Soviet Union, the slogan “Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for our Happy Childhood!” became a rallying cry for resurgent Soviet power. It symbolized the nation’s recovery from the Great...
I. Building an Image, Building a Consensus
Chapter 1. The Contained Child on the Cusp of a New Era
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On 7 April 1949, Svetlana Zhiltsova, the Pioneer delegate to the Eleventh Congress of the Komsomol, waited nervously to take the stage before a packed auditorium of Communist Party leaders. The topic of her speech was the future of the Pioneer organization, which, under the umbrella of the...
Chapter 2. The “Other” Child
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The construction of the Cold War child was inextricably bound to the formation of social and cultural identities on both sides of the Iron Curtain. But visions of containment could only perform their desired functions if they had a counter-ideal against which they could be compared. In the first...
Chapter 3. Victims, Hooligans, and the Importance of Threat
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The image of the child had still more functions to perform in the construction of a Cold War consensus. Back in 1949, at the Eleventh Komsomol Congress, the young Svetlana Zhiltsova had delivered five minutes of carefully constructed and memorized text meant to establish an idealized vision...
Chapter 4. Mobilized Childhood Responds to the Threat
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On 26 June 1960, the Soviet government marshaled the schools, the Pioneers, the Komsomol, and workers across the country to gather for the first annual Day of Soviet Youth. Writers and editors in the Russian press argued that this upcoming holiday was being held in order to honor the peace-loving...
II. Revising an Ideal
Chapter 5. Soviet Childhood in Film during the Thaw
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From 1956 until roughly 1967, the Soviet Union experienced an unprecedented opening in the arts known as the Thaw. During these years, Communist Party leaders urged artists, writers, and filmmakers to discard some of the more onerous shackles of Socialist Realism and explore the...
Chapter 6. American Childhood and the Bomb
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In the fall of 1961, while Andrei Tarkovsky was busy putting the final touches on Ivan’s Childhood and Serezha was still in the Soviet theaters, mathematician and counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Atomic Energy James R. Newman made a novel suggestion in the pages of the Washington Post...
Chapter 7. Vietnam and the Fall of an Image
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From 1964 to 1973, Soviet and American images of the Cold War child clashed in the propaganda battles of the Vietnam War. Information brokers at the U.S. Joint Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO) and at the Soviet State Service for Television and Radio (Gosteleradio) generated vast numbers of pamphlets, television...
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In January 1969, Parents’ Magazine published an article entitled “How Russian Schools Compare with Ours.” The cover of the magazine pictured a shadow box holding two girl dolls, dressed in similar garb and each holding a book in one hand and an olive branch in the other. Swirling around them were two...
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I owe a great debt of gratitude to many people for making this book possible. I received financial support from the U.S. State Department as a Fulbright- Hays scholar, the Society for the Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth, and the Department...
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Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 29 halftones
Publication Year: 2014
Series Title: The New Cold War History