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Rethinking the Cold War (HI940 - Withdrawn)

This module has now been permanently withdrawn and is no longer taught in the Warwick History Department.


Module Aims
Outline Syllabus
Illustrative Bibliography
Other information
Module Aims

This module, taught in the Autumn Term, acts as an introductory core course for students on the MA in Society and Culture in the Cold War, but may also be taken by other taught Master's students inside or outside the History Department. It explores recent cultural and social histories of Cold War 'home fronts', shifting the focus away from international relations to the internal politics and protest movements on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Primary sources include public speeches, secret conversations, opinion surveys, novels and films, as well as contemporary analyses by Cold War writers. The module is also designed to introduce students to a broad cross-section of society, from leadership and artistic elites, to button-pushers within the opposing military-industrial complexes, to rank-and-file workers and dissident intellectuals. Participants will be asked to consider both the similarities and differences of East-West constructions of the Cold War 'other', applying interdisciplinary approaches from political, social and cultural history, as well as literary and film studies.

Outline Syllabus

Week 2: Official Mindsets: Leadership Attitudes in the Cold War (CR)

Week 3: Taking Sides: Intellectuals and the Politics of High Culture (CR)

Week 4: Organisation Men and Apparatchiks: Functional Elites, East and West (RF)

Week 5: Atomic Society: Science and the Bomb (CM)

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Imagining the Other: Propaganda and Public Opinion (CM)

Week 8: Witchhunts against the Enemy Within (CM (CMn)

Week 9: The Politics of Low Culture: Consumerism and its Discontents (RF)

Week 10: Third Ways: Dissident Voices for Peace and Human Rights (GRH)

Illustrative Bibliography

Appy, Christian G. (ed.), Cold War Constructions: The Political Culture of United States Imperialism (Amherst, 2000)

Caute, David, The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy during the Cold War (Oxford, 2003).

Djilas, Milovan, The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System (London, 1957)

Havel, Vaclav, Living in Truth: Twenty-two Essays (London, 1987)

Hixson, Walter L., Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture and the Cold War, 1945-1961 (Houndmills, 1997)

Reid, Susan E., and Crowley, David (eds.), Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe (Oxford, 2000)

Ross, Corey, Constructing Socialism at the Grass-Roots: The Transformation of East Germany, 1945-65 (Houndmills, 2000)

Saunders, Frances Stonor, Who Paid the Piper?: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (London, 1999)

Thompson, E. P. et al., Exterminism and Cold War (London, 1982)

Whitfield, Stephen J., The Culture of the Cold War (Baltimore, 1991)

Other Information

The module is team-taught in eight weekly seminars of two hours each

1 assessed essay of 5,000 words: the course is taught in weekly 2-hour seminars




Various please see module handbook

Term Autumn
Tutorial Day Monday
Time 1.00-3.00
Lecturer Rooms   
Chris Read


Roger Fagge H339
Christoph Mick H239
Gerd Rainer-Horn H332