Log inskip to content

Archive for the 'World Civ-Cold War in West' Category

Almost Everything in “Dr. Strangelove” Was True

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Despite public assurances that everything was fully under control, in the winter of 1964, while “Dr. Strangelove” was playing in theatres and being condemned as Soviet propaganda, there was nothing toprevent an American bomber crew or missile launch crew from using their weapons against the Soviets.Kubrick had researched the subject for years, consulted experts, and worked closely with a former R.A.F.pilot, Peter George, on the screenplay of the film. George’s novel about the risk of accidental nuclear war,“Red Alert,” was the source for most of “Strangelove” ’s plot. Unbeknownst to both Kubrick and George, atop official at the Department of Defense had already sent a copy of “Red Alert” to every member of the Pentagon’s Scientific Advisory Committee for Ballistic Missiles. At the Pentagon, the book was taken seriously as a cautionary tale about what might go wrong. Even Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara privately worried that an accident, a mistake, or a rogue American officer could start a nuclear war.”

This New Yorker article explores the film as fact.,

Hitler vs. Stalin

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Assessing the most recent scholarship, this article from the NY Times Review of Books compares the casualty counts resultant from the Hitler and Stalin regimes.

How the CIA secretly published Dr Zhivago

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Boris Pasternak’s famous novel Doctor Zhivago remained unpublished in the USSR until 1988, because of its implicit criticism of the Soviet system. But for the same reason, the CIA wanted Soviets to read the book, and arranged the first-ever publication in Russian.

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Artists from the Soviet Union didn’t just imagine a worker’s Utopia on Earth. They also thought that the great communist experiment would eventually reach other worlds, too. Here are some incredible works of art and conceptual design that put the Soviet Union in space.

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in SpaceSEXPAND

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in SpaceAND

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space5


Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The Conelrad Blog is awesome…and disturbing

How children’s books thrived under Stalin

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

When Stalin’s great purges made writing dangerous, a group of avant garde artists turned their attention to children’s books. Philip Pullman on a new collection that reveals a vigorous freedom in a time of repression.

Partly because of such collaborations, and partly because children’s books provided a hiding place for a while, the early Soviet period was a miraculously rich time for children’s books and their illustration. A new book, Inside the Rainbow: Russian Children’s Literature 1920-1935 offers a glimpse into that astonishing world. The designer, Julian Rothenstein, and the writer of an essay in the book, Olga Budashevskaya, have produced something truly remarkable. Brilliant primary colours, simple geometrical shapes

NPR Interview: Kinzer on the Dulles Brothers

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

In 1953, for the first and only time in history, two brothers were appointed to head the overt and covert sides of American foreign policy. President Dwight Eisenhower appointed John Foster Dulles secretary of state, and Allen Dulles director of the CIA.

Journalist Stephen Kinzer says the Dulles brothers shaped America’s standoff with the Soviet Union, led the U.S. into war in Vietnam, and helped topple governments they thought unfriendly to American interests in Guatemala, Iran, the Congo and Indonesia. In his new book, The Brothers, Kinzer says the Dulles’ actions “helped set off some of the world’s most profound long-term crises.”

John Dulles died in 1959. President Kennedy replaced Allen Dulles after the covert operation he recommended to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba ended disastrously in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

Kinzer tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that the Dulles’ shared background and ideology played out in their policy decisions: “They had this view of the world that was implanted in them from a very young age,” Kinzer says. “That there’s good and evil, and it’s the obligation of the good people to go out into the world and destroy the evil ones.”

BBC Great Lives: Hitches on Trotsky

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

A fight ensues. Fun radio!

How a blunder finished off the Wal

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

The intention was to announce the changes overnight and phase in the new rules the next morning. Instead one of the Politburo members, Guenter Schabowski, blurted out the plans during a televised press conference – and compounded his error by adding the new rules would come into force “immediately”.

Live press conferences were a novelty in communist days, and Mr Schabowski was becoming something of a celebrity through his appearances. Mr Modrow is still scathing about Mr Schabowski’s preening in front of the media.

“The order wasn’t to be published until 0400 in the morning. But Mr Schabowski didn’t notice. He went into an international press conference. And he was so arrogant and full of himself. We had no idea this was happening.”

Who Knew Photos From Soviet-Era Russia Could Look So Happy?

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

It would be difficult to guess Sergey Chilikov’s photographs are a product of repressive, Soviet-era Russia. Sergey Chilikov: Selected Works 1978–, published by Schilt Publishing at the end of 2011 is brimming with Chilikov’s relatively unknown work covering the span of his career, from the 1970s through the late 2000s.

The book’s introduction describes the bleak place photography held in Soviet Russia during the 1970s. During that period, photography wasn’t given credence as a legitimate art form and even classic Soviet photography wasn’t included in museum exhibitions. In order to get their work seen, photographers started their own clubs, exchanging work with other clubs and organizing their own exhibitions and festivals, and thereby creating a community that supported photography as a legitimate art form.

More here

Left: From the Everyday cycle, Chorus girls series, Cheboksary, 1995. Right: From the Everyday cycle, Before the storm, Kundysh, 1994.