Liberty's Tears: Soviet Portraits of the "American Way of Life" During the Cold War

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9780195375312: Liberty's Tears: Soviet Portraits of the

Published here for the first time in English, this unique collection of articles illustrates how the Soviet media portrayed the U.S. during the Cold War. Organized by topic, Liberty's Tears: Soviet Portraits of the "American Way of Life" During the Cold War offers commentary on diverse aspects of American life, including politics, money, crime, sports, religion, and popular culture. Exploring the propaganda struggle that played a significant role in the Cold War, Liberty's Tears includes articles from Soviet periodicals intended for a mass audience of ordinary citizens. Unlike the interminable speeches of party leaders presented in full pages of tiny print in Pravda and Izvestiia, these items were meant to be engaging and even entertaining for millions of casual Soviet readers. Headnotes and chapter introductions provide extensive context, while the provocative and critical focus on American life will be sure to spark student discussion.

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About the Author:


Alan Ball is Professor of History at Marquette University. He is the author of Imagining America (2003), And Now My Soul is Hardened (1994), and Russia's Last Capitalists (1987).

Review:

"I think the driving idea behind the proposal is a good one. It is useful to explore how 'typical' Soviet people thought about (or, perhaps more precisely, were told to think about) the United States and American culture. And I agree that understanding the themes prevalent in propaganda targeted at a mass readership is more revealing than reading 'official' Party speeches and documents." --Thomas Devine, CSU, Northridge

"I enthusiastically recommend publication of this proposed collection of articles. Especially if the articles are accompanied by cartoons (as the author suggests in the last line of the proposal), this collection will be a vivid and valuable supplementary text for courses on Russian/Soviet history and the Cold War - I have examined some of the recently published anthologies on the Cold War that are cited in note 3 and I agree that such anthologies tend to contain formal speeches, reports, resolutions, and diplomatic dispatches, which can be dull and certainly do not provide a basis for analyzing popular Soviet images of the United States." --David Foglesong, Rutgers University

"The extensive use of Russian sources, especially popular periodicals that would otherwise not be accessible to students, makes this work especially intriguing, and I think it can set it far apart from other works on the Cold War era. The selections are great fun to read, but standing on their own, with no editorial apparatus to place them in their context, they offer only an inkling of the work's larger potential." --Ronald Granieri, University of Pennsylvania

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