As World War II gave way to the Cold War, culture came to be an important component of East-West political jockeying. Policy makers in Washington sought to use sport as part of a broader image building campaign that employed dancers, musicians, and artists. Previous scholarship on athletic diplomacy has centered largely on the bureaucratic processes that propped it up. How athletic forays were interpreted abroad, by contrast, has been relatively understudied. The research here brings the experience of foreign audiences closer to the foreground, focusing specifically on how the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany were perceived within the East German elite sport system. Using reports from the Ministry for State Security in tandem with the testimony of members of the athletic establishment, it examines the narratives about an American(ized) other that prevailed behind the Berlin Wall, principally from the years 1966 through 1977.


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pp. 161-178
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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