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Cold War Culture

The geopolitical cleavage which defined the second half of the 20th century was not only a period of fierce competition between two military superpowers, but it also engendered specific ways of thinking, feeling and acting for millions of people on both sides of the Iron Curtain. On the one hand, the military rivalry had promoted the vision that casts the world into competing binaries of good and evil. On the other hand, it generated popular resistance and subversion of the official propaganda, creating anti-war movements, counter-cultural trends in music, theater and art, thereby creating a space for alternative thinking.

The Havighurst Center will considered these cultural reflections of the Cold War era as well as the remnants of the Cold War culture and thinking today as part of its focus on the Cold War in Fall 2007. The Annual Young Researchers Conference, the Colloquia Series and various invited guest lecturers throughout the year considered such topics as popular resistance and maintaining personal autonomy under repressive political regimes, responses to political rituals and propaganda, everyday life under the Cold War, the reinvention of history and building memories of the Cold War, the reflections of the Cold War thinking and practices in today's world.


HistoryWiz: The Cold War
HistoryWiz is a nonprofit organization whose aim is to promote an interest in history. The site is aimed primarily at the non-scholar adult, high school, and lower college level.

The North Atlantic Treaty

The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
Website created in 2002 by the National Security Archive at George Washington University for the 40th Anniversary of the event.

Thirteen Days and History
This web site was developed by Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in cooperation with the producers of the 2000 movieThirteen Days.

Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) The Cold War International History Project disseminates new information and perspectives on the history of the Cold War, in particular new findings from previously inaccessible sources on "the other side" -- the former Communist world. The Cold War Files Website

BBC World War Series: The Cold War
An overview of the Cold War presented by the British Broadcasting Company.


In World War II, the 3AD saw the most combat, inflicted the most damage, and took the most casualties and during four decades of the Cold War, the Division was NATO's primary point-guard for the critical Fulda Gap in West Germany.

Cold War policies 1945-1991
A website created by the University of San Diego History Department

Virtual Library Cold War history
From the World Wide Web Virtual Library:          
European University Institute, Florence, Italy

Cold War Society

The Lost Border: Photographs of the Iron Curtain

The Authentic History Center: Music About The Atom Bomb: 1944-1964 (excerpts)

Unpopular Front: American art and the Cold War, from the New Yorker Magazine (10/17/05)

Newseum: The Berlin Wall
This site, created by the Newseum, a museum of news set to open in Washington, DC in 2008, provides a history of the Berlin Wall, an interactive exhibit that explores the news and how it differed in East and West Berlin, and an exhibition about the falsification of photographs in Stalinist Russia.

Trinity Atomic Website: Civil Defense
Shows examples of bomb shelter as depicted by the Civil Defense Program.

Atomic Bombing: How to Protect Yourself
This web-based document recreates a classic 1950 book detailing the dangers posed by an atomic bomb and the precautions that one may take to minimize the risk of contamination and death.

Civil Defense Films

Duck and Cover with "Bert the Turtle" (1951) 
The movie Duck and Cover was produced in 1950, during the first big Civil Defense push of the Cold War.

Survival Under Atomic Attack (1951) 

House in the Middle, The (1954) 
Atomic tests at the Nevada Proving Grounds show effects of a nuclear blast on well-kept homes, homes filled with trash and combustibles, and homes painted with reflective white paint. Asserts that cleanliness is an essential part of civil defense preparedness and that it increased survivability. Produced by the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association

About Fallout (1963)
An optimistic vision of nuclear fallout and civil defense countermeasures.

Cold War Links

Gulag Forced Labor Camps
The system of forced labor camps was established in the first years of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union. It became essential part of the Soviet repressive system.

The Open Society Archives (OSA)
The Open Society Archives is an archives and a center for research and education. Its collections and activities relate to the period after the Second World War, mainly The Cold War, The history of the formerly communist countries, Human rights, and War crimes.

The Cold War Museum
The Cold War Museum was founded to preserve Cold War history and honor Cold War Veterans.

The Civil Defense Museum
A virtual museum created by a collector of Cold War memorobilia and history.

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum