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The Mystery of Ales

The Mystery of Ales :: a new take on the Alger Hiss problem
posted by anastasiav on Jul 19, 2007 - 11 comments

Mother, do you think they'll drop the bomb?

In 1965, Peter Watkins produced a fictional documentary called The War Game in which the aftermath of thermo-nuclear attacks in Britain was depicted. The BBC declared that it was "too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting" and was not aired until 1985. Watch it here (warning: graphic depictions of effects of radiation). Related, When the Wind Blows (parts 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), a sober animated tale of a British couple who try and survive nuclear holocaust based on the civil defense manual "Protect and Survive." (Previously).
posted by champthom on Jun 14, 2007 - 74 comments

Cold War back on.

Cold War back on.
posted by reklaw on Jun 3, 2007 - 159 comments

Interesting times

Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security "By far the most ambitious and integral project in the burgeoning field of cold war history"
posted by Abiezer on May 7, 2007 - 3 comments

A visit to a captured US warship

Gov. Bill Richardson takes a tour of the captured USS Pueblo in the DPRK.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 9, 2007 - 26 comments

Putin's harsh criticism of U.S.

The United States has overstepped its borders in all spheres - economic, political and humanitarian, and has imposed itself on other states. That was a remark by Russian President Vladimir Putin at Munich Security Conference.
posted by elpapacito on Feb 10, 2007 - 98 comments

The DEW Line

Tales from the DEW Line. In the mid-50's, the Distant Early Warning, or DEW Line, a series of radar stations along the 69th paralell, began scanning the arctic skies for signs of soviet bombers. Though cut off from direct contact with civilization, and often hoping that nothing would happen, staffers of these remote outposts still found plenty worth writing about or photographing (1, 2, 3).
posted by Durhey on Feb 2, 2007 - 36 comments

Korean War POWs who defected to China

At the end of the Korean War, James Veneris was an American POW awaiting repatriation. But when his time came, he—along with twenty other Americans and a Briton—declined to leave and chose to cast his lot with Mao and the Chinese Communist Party. Over time, almost all of these men became disillusioned with Marxism and eventually returned to their homelands. The Cold War that informed their decisions has become a chapter in the history books but the story of Western defectors to the Communist bloc is just now being written.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 4, 2007 - 9 comments

Samantha Smith

In 1982, ten-year old Samantha Smith from Maine wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov asking whether there was going to be a nuclear war. Andropov responded, and Samantha accepted his invitation to stay at a Russian pioneer camp with Soviet children. Tragically, within the following two years both the young Samantha and Secretary Andropov passed away. (wmv)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 23, 2006 - 23 comments

Vintage Cultural Ephemera lives on via Flickr

Fans of Vintage Cultural Ephemera Rejoice!

Illustration and print design of the 1920s-30s
Cold War Propaganda (on both sides)
Illustration and print design of the forties
Vintage cigarrette advertising
Sheet Music of the 1800s - 1950s
Out of print cookbooks
7-Up advertising (pre 1980s)

All of these (and much more) found via this excellent Flickr Page of Groups administered by cultural archivist Paula Wirth.
posted by jonson on Dec 15, 2006 - 15 comments

Just paint and profit.

Looking for a spacious home in a unique, quiet and safe location? It may be a fixer-upper, but buy now before the value skyrockets.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 30, 2006 - 21 comments

The Kremlin minutes

Diary of a Collapsing Superpower - "Seventeen years ago, the Berlin Wall fell, and two years later the Soviet Union broke apart. More than 1,400 minutes published earlier this month in Russia from meetings that took place behind the closed doors of the Politburo in Moscow read like a thriller from the highest levels of the Kremlin. They reveal Mikhail Gorbachev as a party chief who had to fight bitterly for his reforms and ultimately lost his battle. But in doing so, he changed the course of history and helped bring an end to the Cold War."
posted by Gyan on Nov 28, 2006 - 32 comments

The only winning move...

DEFCON, based off the real alert levels (and Wargames), is a game about killing innocent civilians.
posted by pantsrobot on Oct 2, 2006 - 60 comments

At least the Cold War made sense.

Now we're faced with a supposedly democratic Russia where the opposition parties are established, crushed, united, their leadership changed, all at the behest of the president. China, now clearly a capitalist state, albeit one without the democratic trimmings, still calls itself communist. Vietnam has gone much the same way.

Some things remain the same, though. America's still meddling in Latin America, just like it did during the Cold War. The US Army is also fighting a guerilla resistance in Iraq, its leaders apparently ignorant of the lessons of history, yet accusing others of exactly that. It's just like the 60s, when it was just as obvious who had learnt lessons and who hadn't.
posted by imperium on Aug 30, 2006 - 48 comments

im in ur sub base killin ur d00dz

im in ur sub base killin ur d00dz. Eerie photos of a decomissioned Russian submarine base. [via]
posted by dersins on Jul 27, 2006 - 38 comments

Culture War

The Cultural Cold War by Frances Saunders covers the way in which the government, via CIA-influenced NGOs worked to alter the direction that popular movies and animations took during the first half of the Cold War. [mi]
posted by longbaugh on Jul 22, 2006 - 11 comments

The Cold War International History Project

Bulletins (more recent ones are PDF only) from the Cold War International History Project. During the 40-odd years of the Cold War, diplomatic historians in the West only had access to documents--papers, memos, cables, and so on--from one side of the conflict. Since the end of the Cold War, the Cold War International History Project has been going through diplomatic archives from the Soviet Union, China, and other countries, translating documents and illuminating the other sides of the conflict. Examples: discussions between Stalin and Kim Il Sung prior to the Korean War. Chinese documents from 1964-1965 on the Vietnam War. Letter to Brezhnev from Czech hardliners requesting Soviet intervention in 1968.
posted by russilwvong on Jun 2, 2006 - 14 comments

Bridge to the past

In case of Soviet attack, head to the Brooklyn Bridge.
posted by keswick on Mar 22, 2006 - 36 comments

For sale: Britain’s underground city

Welcome to Cold War City It covers 240 acres and has 60 miles of roads and its own railway station. It even includes a pub called the Rose and Crown. Oh, and it's underground. And for sale. Much more interesting than the article, though, are these photo galleries.
posted by dersins on Oct 31, 2005 - 18 comments

The only winning move is not to play.

On this day 22 years ago, Stanislav Petrov saved the world.
posted by basicchannel on Sep 26, 2005 - 51 comments

Political killing in the cold war [and thereafter]

Modern history is replete with assassinations that have a dramatic impact on national and international politics: the killing of Alexander II by anarchists in 1881 unleashed repression and anti-semitism in the Russian empire; the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in June 1914 in Sarajevo sparked the "great war" that drowned Europe in blood and inaugurated what Eric Hobsbawm calls "the short 20th century"; the assassination of the liberal Colombian politician Jorge Gaitan in 1948 (a day after he had met a Latin American youth delegation that included the 21-year-old Fidel Castro) helped spark a civil war – the violencia – that continues to this day and the shooting down on 6 April 1994 of the plane carrying Rwanda's and Burundi's presidents, Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira precipitated the Rwandan genocide.

Political killing in the cold war [& thereafter] provides an outline of the aftereffects of assassinations, covert killings, state and judicial executions.
posted by y2karl on Aug 24, 2005 - 37 comments

Foreign Policy in the Periphery: American Adventurism in the Third World

This paper outlines the major thesis of the larger work... that US foreign policy during the Cold War was not primarily about keeping the USSR out of Western Europe, but rather about promoting the global capitalist system on a worldwide stage... Three themes—strategic, economic, ideological—are introduced in support of this argument, and applied to the 30 case studies. They lead to the conclusion that in many of these interventions the US opposed leftist Third World personalities by supporting more right-wing local clients rather than centrists who were often available. These decisions almost always proved disastrous for the local societies affected, and often even were unfortunate for longer-term American diplomatic interests.
U.S. Foreign Policy in the Periphery: A 50-Year Retrospective. Related: With Our History, Spinning America's Image Isn't Enough
posted by y2karl on Jul 1, 2005 - 39 comments

George F. Kennan, 1904 — 2005

The Wise Man. George Frost Kennan, (Feb. 16, 1904 — Mar. 17, 2005). Architect of the Cold War, father of the Marshall Plan and the doctrine of containment in the "Kennan Century".
In February 1946, as the second-ranking diplomat in the American Embassy in Moscow, he dispatched his famous "Long Telegram" to Washington. Widely circulated, it made Kennan famous and evolved into an even better-known work, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct," which Mr. Kennan published under the anonymous byline "X" in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 19, 2005 - 22 comments

Reframing for dems. (and a cool filter)

The country music of the atom bomb. Via 3 Quarks Daily
posted by Tlogmer on Mar 16, 2005 - 12 comments

Kanahakkliha!

Kanahakkliha! QT (mirror)
posted by Tlogmer on Feb 11, 2005 - 16 comments

Paul Nitze, 1907-2004

A Walk in the Woods. Farewell to the original Cold War warrior: Paul Nitze, the college professor's son who went to Hotchkiss and Harvard and worked as investment banker before going to Washington in 1940, where he quickly became one of the chief architects of American policy towards the Soviet Union. His doctrine of "strategic stability" became its cornerstone for half a century (Nitze held key government posts in Washington, from the era of Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan's, when he was the White House's guru on arms control). By the end of 1949, Nitze had become director of the State Department's policy planning staff, helping to devise the role of Nato, deciding to press ahead with the manufacture of the H-bomb, and producing National Security Council document 68, the document at the heart of the Cold War: in it, Nitze called for a drastic expansion of the U.S. military budget. The paper also expanded containment’s scope beyond the defense of major centers of industrial power to encompass the entire world. (NSC-68 was a top secret paper, written in April 1950 and declassified in the 70's, called "United States Objectives and Programs for National Security"). More inside.
posted by matteo on Oct 22, 2004 - 7 comments

One of the world's greatest unsung heroes?

You may owe your life to this man If it weren't for Stanislav Petrov, many or even most of us reading this might be dead now - or never born, for the teens among us. At least according to this article, and the other links above.
posted by ramakrishna on Sep 5, 2004 - 34 comments

Prague Spring

The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia. Posters, pamphlets, social protest material. 'In the morning hours of August 21, 1968, the Soviet army invaded Czechoslovakia along with troops from four other Warsaw Pact countries. The occupation was the beginning of the end for the Czechoslovak reform movement known as the Prague Spring. This web site contains material from the days immediately following the invasion, and they reflect the atmosphere in Czechoslovakia at the time: tense, chaotic, uncertain, full of pathos, fear, and expectation... '
Related :- the Berlin Wall and East Side Gallery; A Concrete Curtain: The Life and Death of the Berlin Wall; Szoborpark in Budapest, with its gigantic Cold War-era statues.
posted by plep on Aug 12, 2003 - 6 comments

Are you down with OSP. Yeah, you know me.

Team B (from Outer Space) Gordon Mitchell, author of Strategic Deception, has recently penned a paper that investigates the process by which decisions about the quality of American intelligence are made. He highlights the role of Team B, a group of far-right conservatives who routinely debated against Team A, usually consisting of mid-level intelligence analysts. These debates were a commonplace during the cold war, and through a series of enthymemetic narratives that altered the conditions of proof, Team B was able to successfully beat Team A (time and time again) and move foreign policy further and further to the right. The cold war ended, and Team B ended with it. But now Team B is back in the form of the OSP, and the same movements are happening, this time challenging and compromising moderate foreign policy, including the more moderate portions of the Bush Doctrine. Is this structural device possibly to blame for the Iraq intel snafu, rather than some overt desire to lie and deceive? Your thoughts?
posted by hank_14 on Aug 5, 2003 - 12 comments

50 year anniversary of the Rosenberg's execution

Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, writes about his parents. I'm suprised nobody else posted about this yesterday--June 19th was the 50th anniversary of their execution for espionage.
The executions at Sing Sing on June 19, 1953, ended a sensational Cold War case that still symbolizes the years when McCarthyism held sway and the government's word was accepted more readily than today. It was the first execution of civilians for espionage in U.S. history and it reverberated into the issues of dissent, anti-Semitism and capital punishment.
Pete Seeger and others comment here; the Guardian here. The Committee to Reopen the Rosenberg Trial (which features representations of the couple by Picasso, among others) notes that:
In August of 1993, members of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation re-enacted the 1951 trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. A moot trial was conducted with expertise and meticulous concern for accuracy. The unanimous verdict of the twelve jurors was "Not Guilty." This "trial" and its dramatic outcome was widely reported by the media - for one day only.
posted by jokeefe on Jun 20, 2003 - 20 comments

The CIAs Animal Farm

Many know about the WWII propaganda films made by Warner Bros & Disney. But few know of the CIAs efforts to produce Cold War propaganda films. Like this take on George Orwells, Animal Farm.
posted by Dreamghost on Apr 17, 2003 - 5 comments

Nuclear War Survival Skills

Nuclear War Survival Skills: Journey back sixteen years to a simpler time, when the impending apocalypse was a much less complicated affair. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay on Mar 31, 2003 - 9 comments

Stalin killed to prevent nuclear war?

Was Stalin assassinated to prevent him from launching a nuclear attack on the United States? "'The circumstantial evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of non-fortuitous death,' said Jonathan Brent, a professor of Russian history at Yale University. 'And to support this further, we now have solid evidence, non-circumstantial evidence, of a cover-up at the highest level.'"
posted by mcwetboy on Mar 6, 2003 - 44 comments

Duck and Cover!

In the house where I grew up, we had a 1950's-era Bomb Shelter in the backyard (a cold war relic inherited from the previous owner). We used our shelter as a playground, but many are now forgotten, repurposed, or restored as museum exhibits. Although such shelters are still for sale (often marketed as Tornado or Storm Shelters), many people today regard these shelters as relics from an earlier time. For some, however, the current terror alerts are reviving cold war shelter memories. As demonstrated by sites like the excellent civildefensemuseum.com, we are clearly still fascinated with this important and revealing part of our history.
posted by anastasiav on Feb 25, 2003 - 7 comments

Serratia Marcesens and Project 112

Project 112 was a secret, cold-war era project to determine vulnerabilities of US warships to various chemical and biological attacks. While lots is known about what happened, there's still a lot of information that hasn't been released yet. In the early 1950s, the US Army sprayed the bacteria Serratia Marcesens over San Francisco. While the government thought that it was safe, many people ended up checking into the hospital. One elderly man even died as a result of the US testing chemical and biological agents against it's own citizens.
posted by manero on Jan 22, 2003 - 4 comments

Is Israel rebuilding a Berlin wall ?

Is Israel rebuilding a Berlin wall ? Some people remember the moment of happiness when the Berlin wall was finally destroyed. Is this new wall a symbol of a new cold war era ?
posted by elpapacito on Jun 17, 2002 - 22 comments

The New Frontier-

The New Frontier- Preparing the law for settling on Mars. "Like the abandoned launch fields [at Cape Canveral], the Outer Space Treaty [of 1967] needs to have its valuable parts salvaged, and the dangerous ones demolished."
posted by Ty Webb on Jun 4, 2002 - 12 comments

Down-to-Wire Deal Heads Off Book Burn

Down-to-Wire Deal Heads Off Book Burn
As a follow up on This Thread, Victor Kamkin Inc., the Rockville bookstore that became a mecca for those in search of materials on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, got a three-week reprieve so the Library of Congress can look through the bookseller's 1 million-piece collection to determine what should be saved.
posted by Blake on Mar 17, 2002 - 0 comments

The US may have killed 15,000 of it's own with nuclear tests.

The US may have killed 15,000 of it's own with nuclear tests. Somewhere around 100,000 people died as a result of the bombs dropped by the US over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A new study shows that back home in the heart of the U.S., fallout from Cold-War nuclear tests may have killed as many as 15,000 people. This would be front page news everywhere if it had happened all at once - but since it took years for these people to die - it will barely be a blip in the history books.
posted by stevengarrity on Feb 28, 2002 - 8 comments

Secrets of the Cold War in Space.

Secrets of the Cold War in Space. Deep Cold is an website with detailed renderings, quicktime movies and information about the ideas and concepts being developed for both U.S. and Soviet presences in space during the cold war.
posted by moz on Dec 7, 2001 - 4 comments

Actor Ralph Meeker

Actor Ralph Meeker portrayed hardboiled private dick Mike Hammer in the Robert Aldrich film "Kiss Me Deadly", a celluloid masterpiece of brutal cold-war paranoia that introduced the filmgoing public to the concept of suitcase nukes back in 1955. For some reason, I find the thought of Conway Twitty films far more disturbing.
posted by MrBaliHai on Nov 13, 2001 - 9 comments

The Chairman Smiles

The Chairman Smiles......Mao......Fidel.....Stalin .....Che........Nostalgia for the evil ones of our past. I wonder how many of us would trade today's War on Terrorism for the Cold War.
posted by Voyageman on Nov 4, 2001 - 91 comments

Students for Suicide Pills?

Students for Suicide Pills? On October 12th, 1984, 1900+ students turned out to vote on a referendum asking that their university's Health Services be allowed to offer cyanide pills in the event of nuclear war.

57% of students said they wanted it.
posted by Fat Elvis on Sep 4, 2001 - 11 comments

The cold war is over so we can just relax.

The cold war is over so we can just relax. The russians don't lose track of nuclear material because they still use archaic manual methods rather than buggy software the United States gave them. [via comp.risks]
posted by rdr on Jul 13, 2001 - 4 comments

Bob Kolody vs. Coca-Cola

Bob Kolody vs. Coca-Cola
"Throughout the late 1950’s and early 60’s the CIA began expanding its operations. In order to effectively fight the Cold War on a global scale, it needed to establish bases in every major country. This meant that agents would need a plausible cover in order to penetrate the borders of international frontiers. They couldn’t just show up with CIA stamped on their passport ... As a solution to the problem the CIA was able to convince Coca-Cola, one of the first truly globalized companies with product distribution operations in virtually every corner of the world, to be used as a cover for the U.S. intelligence agency."
posted by bytecode on Jun 21, 2001 - 27 comments

For all of you who missed the Cold War

For all of you who missed the Cold War (NyTimes/Free Reg Req.) If America builds a shield, Putin says he'll arm his missles with multiple warheads. Twenty years orf arms control going down the drain for a failed technology. Remember kids, duck and cover.
posted by mister scratch on Jun 19, 2001 - 31 comments

The first really interesting cold war relic sale I've seen.

The first really interesting cold war relic sale I've seen. It's big ... it's pretty ... it can pummel the sound barrier and NASA spent $30mil retrofitting it. Now if I can just find $10 million I don't need. Maybe if I look under the couch cushions or something.
posted by foist on May 19, 2001 - 4 comments

At the end of the Cold War, a lot of people professed to believe that the USSR's collapse "proved" that communism/socialism/egalitarianism (delete according to the size of claim you want to make) can never work.

Maybe. But this got me thinking you could say the same about neoliberalism.
posted by Mocata on Apr 24, 2001 - 17 comments

Remember the movie "The Day After?" Back in the Cold War days, we were all worried about someday being vaporized by a nuclear blast. Well now, in this post-Cold War era you can relive those wonderful memories with PBS' Nuclear Blast Mapper. I popped in the coordinates for MetaFilter's server location, set the bomb to a 25 megaton blast and this is the result. Think about that the next time you hear a country gets their first nuclear weapons.
posted by mathowie on Feb 3, 2000 - 5 comments

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