Cold War

     Some say that it is useless to speak of world peace or world law or world
disarmament - and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union
adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them to
do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitude - as
individuals and as a Nation - for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And
every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and
wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward - by examining his own
attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union, toward the
course of the cold war and toward freedom and peace here at home. President John

F. Kennedy, American University Speech, June 10, 1963 The Cold War was a time in

American History during the twentieth century where the Communist nations were
fighting against the non-Communist nations. However, the main countries
involved, or the ones leading the two sides were the United States and Russia.

The United States led the fight against Communist nations, like Russia. But
these intense rivalries didnít just go on in the type of government that
should be used or in who could develop the most advanced and most powerful
nuclear weapon of the time. This rivalry went into the culture of American
societies. The Russians were always being viewed as the toughest rival and the
team to beat according to the US. It is similar to how teams think of the
defending champions in a sport. The team playing the defending champions wants
to come out hyped up and with their "A-game" every time they are competing
with them. Another impact it had on the American society was how people started
acting and thinking. In many of the movies and television shows of the time,
most people wouldnít have noticed, but the directors and producers were hiding
subliminal messages in them. Some of them depicting how awful the Russians were
or how supreme the Americans were. But was American society affected by the Cold

War, or was America just trying to make their society better to show it off to
the other countries? Basically, did Americaís way of life and economy during
the cold war improve because they wanted it to show it off or was it a
necessity? The Cold War did affect the Americanís way of life. America was a
young nation and it was just beginning to develop into a dominant country. It
first really just established itself as a world power during the two world wars.

Therefore, the cold war was a time in which Americans were trying to get a name
for themselves by showing how great, life in their country was. Shows like Leave

It to Beaver and Father Knows Best portrayed the stereotypical American
families. Even though everyone knows that there is no such thing as a perfect
family, people still enjoyed watching these types of shows. Commercials, or
shows like I Love Lucy, showing the stereotypical woman or housewife in the
kitchen were another way of showing things off. It is really very difficult to
always own the latest models of things coming out. So a woman in a kitchen with
all the new appliances is really unlikely. This was another way of showing off
to other countries how life was or wasnít. However, the show I Love Lucy,
mainly showed how much freedom a woman had when her husband wasnít home. Lucy
constantly did foolish things that werenít exactly the ways women were
supposed to have been behaving. Once again, the United States was portraying how
great life was in America compared to other countries. The majority of the
television shows during the 1950s showed no poverty, death, ethnic mixing, or
racial tension. It just presented the "perfect world." Juxtaposed, it could
be argued that the Cold War didnít help shape the American society. American
life could have just formed like how it was supposed to happen; like human
nature. When the men all came back from World War II, many women lost their jobs
and werenít as active as they were during the time of WWII. The jobs were all
given back to the men, and women were once again treated very delicately. They
went back to their old ways of life when a womanís life wasnít supposed to
be strenuous. That then caused the emergence of the "in-the-house-all-day"
housewife. The idea of the housewife then became more exaggerated and led to the
creation of the various commercials portraying the "perfect lifestyle." All
of these reasons point to the society being shaped naturally just by the way
things were turning out. The cold war affected all parts of the American society
including politics. The major political event during the time was the Red Scare.

The Red Scare started back a few years before the 1920s and went away relatively
for awhile during World War II. However, as soon as the war ended, the hysteria
over communism went away a little bit. The "Reds," as communists were
called, were seen as a danger to the United States and their citizens. The Red

Scare brought out one of the most "politically repressive periods" in U.S.
history because it took away many freedoms of expression, political activism and
press. It kept on going, however, due to the American communists, communist
sympathizers, and citizens trying to achieve social justice. Most of these
people were intellectuals (writers and academics), government officials,
political figures, teachers, college professors, and entertainers. The main
effect it had on Americans was that off fear. Many Americans were afraid of a
communist take-over and all the violence that followed it. Most of these fears
were portrayed in science-fiction movies, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers,

The Thing, Invaders from Mars, and The Blob. These films all presented traits
similar to either the communists or the stereotypical description of communists.

In The Blob, the blob shows how the communism is spreading slowly, but
effectively over everything. Like it is "creeping" through relatively
unnoticed. In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the aliens act like the communists
in that they possess similar goals, which are to "take over the townís
military, government, and other types of authority." These are similar to what

Anti-Communist Americans believed that the "Reds" were trying to do. All of
these movies also show how directors and producers tried to show Americans
hidden messages about communism. Therefore, it is likely that the directors were

Anti-Communist. Another aspect of entertainment influenced by the cold war was
music. Rock and roll was the most popular style of music at the time and there
were some songs that werenít really dealing with the cold war in general, but
there were some songs in which the topic of the song dealt with a situation in
the cold war. Itís typical audience was teenagers and young adults, similar to
the listeners of rap and hip-hop in todayís society. Elvis Presley, "the

King of Rock and Roll," was probably the most popular rock and roll star of
the time. His music was different from others because he was the first to
combine both "black and white sound." However, his dancing did bring on some
criticism from the older generation of people because they perceived it as
obscene and indecent. Elvis, though not directly in his songs, was influenced by
the Cold War. According to his Federal Bureau of Investigation file, he was an"undercover informant against radicals he saw as undermining the nation."