Critical Reflections on the Cold War: Linking Rhetoric and History
Martin J. Medhurst, H. W. Brands
Texas A&M University Press, 2000 - Cold War - 281 pages
Rhetoric and history intersected dramatically during the Cold War, which was, above all else, a war of words. This volume, which combines the work of historians and communication scholars, examines the public discourse in Cold War America from a number of perspectives including how rhetoric shaped history and policies and how rhetorical images invited interpretations of history.
The book opens with Norman Graebner's wideranging analysis of the rhetorical background of the Cold War. Frank Costigliola then parses Stalin's speech of February, 1946, an address that many in the West took as a declaration of war by the USSR. The development of NSC68 in 1950, often referred to as America's "blueprint" for fighting the Cold War, is the subject of Robert P. Newman's review.
Shawn J. ParryGiles and J. Michael Hogan then focus on American propaganda responses to the perceived Soviet threat. H. W. Brands, Randall B. Woods, and Rachel L. Holloway examine the effects of liberal ideology and rhetoric on domestic and foreign policy decisions. Robert J. McMahon and Robert L. Ivie raise the issue of what it has meant to be the "leader of the Free World" and what the task of postCold War rhetoric will be in this regard.
Scholars concerned with the role of words in public life and in the study of history will find challenging material in this interdisciplinary volume. Historians, speech communication scholars, and political scientists with an interest in the Cold War will similarly find grist for further milling.
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actions activities administration Affairs American argued atomic attack believed bomb called campaign Central Cold Cold War Committee Communism Communist Congress congressional continued critical danger defense democracy democratic Department direct economic effective effort Eisenhower Europe fact fear Files force foreign policy freedom FRUS Fulbright Gallup George global human Ibid increased interests interpretation issue Jackson John Johnson June Kennan Kennedy less liberal Library means meeting military National Security never Nitze noted nuclear objectives officials operations peace Plan political possible present president problem propaganda psychological Public Papers Radio Reagan relations response rhetoric Robert scientists Secretary Senate Series Soviet Union speech Staff Stalin strategy threat tion Truman Truth United University Press Vietnam warfare Wars Washington weapons White House York
Page 175 - Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Page 175 - Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
Page 180 - For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us last.
Page 22 - US there can be no permanent modus vivendi, that it is desirable and necessary that the internal harmony of our society be disrupted, our traditional way of life be destroyed, the international authority of our state be broken, if Soviet power is to be secure.
Page 23 - If you want war, nourish a doctrine. Doctrines are the most frightful tyrants to which men ever are subject, because doctrines get inside of a man's own reason and betray him against himself. Civilized men have done their fiercest fighting for doctrines. The reconquest of the Holy Sepulcher, "the balance of power,
Page 25 - It is necessary only to glance at a map to realize that the survival and integrity of the Greek nation are of grave importance in a much wider situation. If Greece should fall under the control of an armed minority, the effect upon its neighbor, Turkey, would be immediate and serious.