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Week 20 - Cold War, Globalisation, and the Rise of U.S. Hegemony

This is the last week of term 2! And to end things off in style we have our final presentation, this week from group Group 2 (Daniel, Lawrence, Louis, and Ruva).

As a treat, and to get you all into a sufficiently paranoid Cold War mindset, I'd like you to watch the following two videos:

  • The first, Atomic Cafe (1982; more info on Wikipedia and IMDB), is a documentary utilising solely American newsreel, military public information, and government propaganda. Short loan has a copy. Because it's in storage and you have to request it (as well as being VHS), it might be easier to look at it on YouTube, where it seems to now be legally hosted.
  • The second film is Fail Safe (more info via Wikipedia and IMDB; also a more recent remake, info here). Released in 1964, it is lesser-known (but arguably better) than that year's other blockbuster Cold War tragicomedy, Dr Strangelove: Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb. You can watch it via this link, but beware because of all the ads and stuff.

Music By Which To Read

The first three tracks here are a bit of a meditation on a 'classic' track I'm sure you all know. Have a think about how songs change between countries, languages, and audiences. The rest of the playlist covers (generally) western responses to the Cold War. This music is skewed towards the 1970s and '80s, not coincidentally the era when I was growing up and listening to much of this on the radio. Cold War paranoia ran deep and a considerable part of the music scene (even the mainstream music scene) reflected this. Not all of these tracks are necessarily memorable, but I hope you take from the range of artists sampled here that lots of different people worried about the future of the world and that the threat of nuclear Armageddon did hang over everyone. You can find the text list here.