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Across the Blocs: Exploring Comparative Cold War Cultural and Social History (Cold War History) 0th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0714684642
ISBN-10: 0714684643
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Editorial Reviews


'Historical science would do well to emphasize the status of ther east-West conflict as a struggle for cultural meaning - as a 'war of intellects'. This book helps that process.' 

Jost Dulffer

About the Author

Patrick Major is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Warwick and author of The Death of the KPD: communism and anti-communism in West Germany, 1945-1956 (Oxford University Press, 1997).
Rana Mitter is University Lecturer in the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University and author of The Manchurian Myth: Nationalism, Resistance, and Collaboration in Modern China (University of California Press, 2000).


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Product Details

  • Series: Cold War History
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (February 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714684643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714684642
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,417,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roy E. Cloudburst on June 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Across the Blocs is a compilation of short essays, which collectively provide a sampling of novel socio-cultural arguments about Cold War History. The editors, Oxford Professor Rana Mitter and University of Warwick Scholar Patrick Major, attempt to "set out a research agenda for a truly comparative approach to the cultural and social history of the Cold War." In 2000, Mitter and Major founded the Cold War Cultures Network, which seeks active interaction between scholars who are interested in the East-West conflict, particularly the `home fronts.' Jointly, this compilation is an example of the labors of the aforementioned network - and illustrates that professional collaboration often advances new ideas and approaches to traditional subjects. The collection is thematically grouped into three sections, with two essays on each theme (utilizing either a Western or Eastern bloc approach). These British authors advance Cold War cultural and social narratives by utilizing an array of topics such as cinema, broadcasting, and fictional writing.

As with other essays in this collection, British scholar Sarah Davies argues that the "emerging Cold War inclined the Soviet Union towards increasing state intervention in cultural policy." To this point, Davies succeeds adequately in connecting Soviet cinema to Communism. She carefully chronicles, from 1944-46, the ever-changing script of Admiral Nakhimov. The film, modeled after Nakhimov, a revered Russian military leader who helped defeat the Turks in the battle of Sinope, is manipulated by the Soviet leaders, including Stalin, to reflect only professional achievements, vice personal stories, of the admiral. These adjustments, of course, focused on Soviet military superiority.
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Across the Blocs: Exploring Comparative Cold War Cultural and Social History (Cold War History)
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