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Cold War Popular Culture: Spies, Space and Marxism-Lennonism

1) Bond and Beyond: Voyeurism and Betrayal in the British Spy Thriller

2) Invasion Fantasies and New Frontiers: American Science Fiction

3) Only Rock 'n' Roll?: Popular Music Behind the Iron Curtain

Background texts

Fried, Richard M., The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming: Pageantry and Patriotism in Cold War America (New York, 1998).
Haut, Woody, Pulp Culture: Hardboiled Fiction and the Cold War (London: Serpent’s Tail, 1995). PM
Hixson, Walter L., Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture and the Cold War, 1945-1961 (Houndmills: Macmillan, 1997).
Inglis, Fred, The Cruel Peace: Everyday Life in the Cold War (London: Aurum, 1992).
Nadel, Alan, Containment Culture: American Narratives, Postmodernism and the Atomic Age (Durham and London: Duke UP, 1995). PM
Schwartz, Richard A., Cold War Culture: Media and the Arts, 1945-1990 (Facts on File, 2000). PM
Shaw, Tony, British Cinema and the Cold War (London: I. B. Tauris, 2000). PN3263.S6

1. Bond and Beyond: Voyeurism and Betrayal in the British Spy Thriller

Who is the enemy in the British spy thriller?

Core texts

le Carré, John, ‘To Russia, with Greetings’, Encounter (May 1966), 3-6. see handout
________, Introduction to Page, Bruce et al., Philby: The Spy Who Betrayed a Generation (London: Andre Deutsch, 1968).
Eco, Umberto, ‘Narrative Structures in Fleming’, in id., The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts (Bloomington, Ind. and London: Indiana UP, 1979).

Please try to read the asterisked texts below plus one literary criticism.


*Le Carré, John, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963) - washed-up SIS man defects to GDR, or does he?
________, Smiley’s People (1980).
Deighton, Len, Funeral in Berlin (1964) - defection via coffin haunted by Nazi skeletons. Chandleresque burlesque?
Fleming, Ian, Casino Royale (1953) - playboy Bond stakes manhood against sado-commies for girl and country.
*________, From Russia, With Love (1957) - Moscow plans honeytrap assassination. Will Tatiana get her man?
________, ‘The Living Daylights’, Octopussy (1962) - trigger-unhappy 007 finds nasty surprise in sniperscope.
Greene, Graham, Our Man in Havana (1958) - informant’s invented intelligence reports start coming true. Why?
________, The Human Factor (1978) - another rather seedy tale of deception.
McEwan, Ian, The Innocent or The Special Relationship (1990) - Anglo-American love-hate in a Berlin tunnel.


From Russia with Love (Young, 1963) - Lotte Lenya in THOSE shoes. Bond before the gadgets took over. PM
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Ritt, 1965). PM


Aronoff, Myron J., The Spy Novels of John le Carré: Balancing Ethics and Politics (Houndmills: Macmillan, 1999). PM
Barley, Tony, Taking Sides: The Fiction of John le Carré (Milton Keynes/Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1986). PM
Beene, LynnDianne, John le Carré (New York: Twayne, 1992). PM
Bennett, Tony and Janet Woollacott, Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (Houndmills: Macmillan, 1987). PN3244.5.B6
Black, Jeremy, The Politics of James Bond: From Fleming's Novels to the Big Screen (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2001). PN3244.5.B6
Chapman, James, Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films (London: I. B. Tauris, 1999). PN3244.5.B6
Cobbs, John L., Understanding John le Carré (University of South Carolina Press, 1997). PM
Denning, Michael, Cover Stories: Narrative and Ideology in the British Spy Thriller (London, 1987). PR888.S79
Hixson, Walter L., ‘“Red Storm Rising”: Tom Clancy Novels and the Cult of National Security’, Diplomatic History, 17 (1993), 599-613.
Lewis, Peter, John le Carré (New York: Ungar, 1985). PM
Lindner, Christoph (ed.), The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader (Manchester: MUP, 2003). PN3244.5.B6
Lycett, Andrew, Ian Fleming (Phoenix, 1996). PM
Monaghan, David, The Novels of John le Carré: The Art of Survival (Oxford: Blackwell, 1985). PM
Rutherford, Andrew, ‘The Spy as Hero: Le Carré and the Cold War’, in id., The Literature of War: Five Studies in Heroic Virtue (London: Macmillan, 1978). PR888.W2
Stafford, David, The Silent Game: The Real World of Imaginary Spies (Harmondsworth: Viking, 1989). PM
Wark, Wesley K. (ed.), Spy Fiction, Spy Films and Real Intelligence (London: Cass, 1990). [special edition of Intelligence and National Security, vol. 5(4), 1990]

2. Invasion Fantasies and New Frontiers: American Science Fiction

Core texts

Heinlein, Robert A., ‘Solution Unsatisfactory’ (1941) - can radioactive superweapon bring Pax Americana?
Dick, Philip K., ‘Second Variety’ (1953) - deadly weapons technology runs amok on postnuclear world.
Disch, Thomas M., The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), ch. 4.
Sontag, Susan, ‘The Imagination of Disaster’, in id., Against Interpretation (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965).

SF Novels on the Bomb

Asimov, Isaac, Pebble in the Sky (1958) - nuclear novel in space.
Dick, Philip K., The Penultimate Truth (1964) - underground society sheltering from a fictitious atomic war.
________, Dr. Bloodmoney or How We Got Along After the Bomb (1965) - weapons technology.
Heinlein, Robert A., Farnham’s Freehold (1964) - American frontier values prevail over doomsday.
Roshwald, Mordecai, Level 7 (1959) - nuclear nightmare deep underground. PM
Shute, Nevil, One the Beach (1957) - southern hemisphere nuclear submarine drama.

SF Novels on Space

Bradbury, Ray, The Martian Chronicles (aka Silver Locusts; 1951) - is Mars solution to earthly problems?
Disch, Thomas M., Camp Concentration (1968) - anti-authoritarian allegory of mind control.
Heinlein, Robert A., The Puppet Masters (1951) - allegory of alien takeover by slug beings.
________, Starship Troopers (1959) - the war against the ‘bugs’ (try to see Verhoeven’s film parody too).

SF Films

*The Day the Earth Stood Still (Wise, 1951) - Christlike alien visits Earth with a final warning. SRC
The Thing (Nyby, 1951) - polar research station discovers something frozen in the ice. What the ...? PM
It Came from Outer Space (Arnold, 1953) - beware telephone repair men. PM
Invaders from Mars (Mackenzie, 1953) - mind control and strange goings-on near the rocket site. SRC
Them! (Douglas, 1954) - giant atomic mutant ants attack cities - a case for scientists or soldiers? SRC
*Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Siegel, 1956) - they look like us, they talk like us—but?!? PM
Forbidden Planet (Wilcox, 1956) - crashed spaceship discovers extinct civilization—or is it extinct? PM
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Sears, 1956) - partially based on the real-life saucer scares. PM
Plan 9 from Outer Space (Wood, 1956) - cult B-movie stumbling between vampires & aliens. PM
*Dr. Strangelove or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb (Kubrick, 1963).
Fail Safe (Lumet, 1964). PM


Biskind, Peter, Seeing Is Believing: How Hollywood Taught Us to Stop Worrying and Love the Fifties (London: Pluto, 1984).
Booker, M. Keith, Monsters, Mushroom Clouds, and the Cold War (Greenwood: Westport, Conn., 2001). PM
Brosnan, John, Future Tense: The Cinema of Science Fiction (London: Macdonald & Jane's, 1978). PN3243.S2
Dowling, David, Fictions of Nuclear Disaster (London: Macmillan, 1987). PR888.N8
Franklin, H. Bruce, Robert A. Heinlein: America as Science Fiction (New York: OUP, 1980). PS3515.E316
Griffiths, John C., Three Tomorrows: American, British and Soviet Science Fiction (London: Macmillan, 1980). PN3443.G7
Henriksen, Margot A., Dr. Strangelove’s America: Society and Culture in the Atomic Age (Berkeley, 1997). E812.5.H3
Jancovich, Mark, Rational Fears: American Horror in the 1950s (Manchester, 1996). PN3256.H7
Jung, Carl G., Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies (1959; Princeton, NJ: PUP, 1978). PM
Newman, Kim, Millennium Movies: End of the World Cinema (London: Titan, 1999). PN3243.F8
Sayre, Nora, Running Time: Films of the Cold War (New York, 1982). PN3255.5.S2
Seed, David, American Science Fiction and the Cold War: Literature and Film (Edinburgh, 1999). PS374.S2
Sobchak, Vivian, The Limits of Infinity: The American Science Fiction Film, 1950-1975 (South Brunswick, 1980). PN3256.S2
________, Screening Space: The American Science Fiction Film (2nd edn.; New Brunswick, NJ, 1997). PN3256.S2
Warren, Bill, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, 1950-62, 2 vols. (Jefferson/London, 1982/86). PN3256.S2
Weart, Spencer R., Nuclear Fear: A History of Images (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1988). PM
Wright, Bradford C., Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America (Johns Hopkins UP, 2001). PM

3. Only Rock’n’Roll?: Popular Music behind the Iron Curtain


Wolf Biermann, various 1960s protest songs PM

Dean Reed, ‘Dean Reed’ (ca. 1973). PM

The Puhdys, 1970s East German ballad rock. PM


Cushman, Thomas, Notes from Underground: Rock Music Counterculture in Russia (Albany, NY: State University of NY Press, 1995). PM
Dieckmann, Christoph, My Generation: Cocker, Dylan, Lindenberg und die verlorene Zeit (Berlin: Links, 1991). PM
Galenza, Roland and Havemeister, Heinz (eds.), Wir wollen immer artig sein ...: Punk, New Wave, HipHop, Independent-Szene in der DDR 1980-1990 (Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 1999). PM
Kowalczyk, Angela (“China”), Punk in Pankow: Stasi-“Sieg”: 16jährige Pazifistin verhaftet! (Berlin: Anita Tykve Verlag, 1996). PM
Nadelson, Reggie, Comrade Rockstar: The Search for Dean Reed (London: Chatto & Windus, 1991). PM
Poiger, Uta, Jazz, Rock and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany (Berkeley: UCALP, 1990).
Ramet, Sabrina P., Social Currents in Eastern Europe: The Sources and Meaning of the Great Transformation (Durham and London: Duke UP, 1991). PM
________ (ed.), Rocking the State: Rock Music and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia (Boulder, Col.: Westview, 1994). PM
Rauhut, Michael, Beat in der Grauzone: DDR-Rock 1964-1972: Politik und Alltag (Berlin, 1993). PM
________, Schalmei und Lederjacke: Udo Lindenberg, BAP, Underground: Rock und Politik in den achtziger Jahren (Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 1996). PM
Ryback, Timothy W., Rock Around the Bloc: A History of Rock Music in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (New York: OUP, 1990). PM
Smith, Gerald Stanton, Songs to Seven Strings: Russian Guitar Poetry and Soviet "Mass Song" (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1984).
Starr, S. Frederick, Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union, 1917-1991 (Limelight, 1994). PM
Troitski, Artemy, Back in the USSR: The True Story of Rock in Russia (London: Omnibus, 1987). PM