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Cold War

The Takeaway

Cold War Musical Envoy and Piano Legend Van Cliburn Dies at 78

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It was 1958. In the midst of the Cold War, the inaugural Tchaikovsky International Competition took place in Moscow. Amid a climate of fear and mutual suspicion between Americans and Russians, a 23-year-old Texan named Van Cliburn performed a breath-taking rendition of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.

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Studio 360

Wayne Coyne & Rocky and Bullwinkle

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In this Winter Pledge Special, Kurt Andersen talks with Wayne Coyne, the mastermind of the Flaming Lips, about a near-death experience. Rocky and Bullwinkle make the Cold War kid-friendly. And Whoopi Goldberg inspires a young woman to try stand-up.

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On The Media

Warm Feelings for a Cold War

Thursday, January 31, 2013

In her book “The Future of Nostalgia,” Svetlana Boym reminds readers that nostalgia was originally a medical condition. The word was coined by Swiss doctor Johannes Hofer in the late 17th century. He used it to describe a debilitating disease that plagued its victims with depression, obsessive thoughts of returning home, and hallucinations of scenes from their homeland and the voices of distant loved ones. Populations especially at risk of contracting nostalgia included displaced workers, students from foreign lands, and of particular concern, soldiers fighting abroad. Boym explains that “[i]t was unclear at first what was to be done with the afflicted soldiers who loved their motherland so much that they never wanted to leave it, or for that matter to die for it.”

Today, of course, nostalgia is no longer a battlefield illness. Instead, curiously, nostalgia manifests itself among many Americans as a longing for wartime.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Hot and Cold

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On today’s show: Boston Globe language columnist Ben Zimmer discusses the best—and worst—words of 2012, including “selfie,” “YOLO,” and “Romnesia.” Jon Wiener helps us understand how the Cold War is being remembered—or forgotten—across the country. Chris Ware talks about a new box set that collects a decades worth of his acclaimed Building Stories comics. And historian Richard Lingeman looks at how the late 1940s set the stage for the Korean War and the Red Scare.

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Noir Forties

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Historian Richard Lingeman examines the years between VJ Day and the beginning of the Korean War, describing how we went from hot war to Cold War, and from there to here. The Noir Forties is a reexamination of America’s postwar period, and it traces the attitudes, sentiments, hopes and fears, prejudices, behavior, and collective dreams and nightmares of the times.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Forgetting the Cold War

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Historian Jon Wiener visits Cold War monuments, museums, and memorials across the United States to find out how the era is being remembered. How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across the New World is a travelogue that takes readers to sites such as the life-size recreation of Berlin's "Checkpoint Charlie" at the Reagan Library, the fallout shelter display at the Smithsonian.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World

Monday, November 12, 2012

Evan Thomas reveals President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a master of calculated duplicity. In Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World, he shows that behind the bland smile and apparent simple-mindedness, Eisenhower was a brilliant, intellectual tactician. Facing the Soviet Union, China, and his own generals, Eisenhower made boldest and riskiest bets.

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Studio 360

Rocky and Bullwinkle & the Cuban Missile Crisis

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Cold War was terrifying, but we have to admit: it made for some great entertainment, from Dr. No to Dr. Strangelove. And then there was the kid-friendly version: The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. That all-American squirrel and his pal the moose first sauntered ...

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The Takeaway

25 Years Later: Lynne Cox's Historic Swim Across the Bering Strait

Friday, August 10, 2012

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about the Olympics, but before there was Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte, there was Lynne Cox. And while she’s no Olympic gold medalist, she did break down barriers when she swam across the Bering Straight, from the island of Little Diomede in Alaska to Big Diomede, then part of the Soviet Union.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Life and Influence of George F. Kennan

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis talks about George Kennan, troubled Cold War mastermind. In the late 1940s, George Kennan wrote two documents that set the strategy of containment that defined U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union for the next four decades. He was also an architect of the Marshall Plan and would become an outspoken critic of American diplomacy, politics, and culture. George F. Kennan: An American Life took almost 30 years to write, is based on interviews with Kennan and his voluminous diaries and other personal papers.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Berlin 1961

Friday, September 02, 2011

In June 1961, Nikita Khrushchev called Berlin "the most dangerous place on earth." American and Soviet fighting men and tanks stood only yards apart. Frederick Kempe talks about what made Berlin so dangerous. His book Berlin 1961 is based on a wealth of new documents and interviews, filled with fresh insights, and is a masterly look at key events of the 20th century, with powerful applications to these early years of the 21st century.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Berlin 1961

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In June 1961, Nikita Khrushchev called Berlin "the most dangerous place on earth." American and Soviet fighting men and tanks stood only yards apart. Frederick Kempe talks about what made Berlin so dangerous. His book Berlin 1961 is based on a wealth of new documents and interviews, filled with fresh insights, and is a masterly look at key events of the 20th century, with powerful applications to these early years of the 21st century.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Revolution is Over

Monday, March 14, 2011

Young, idealistic, and in love, at the age of 18, Deb Olin Unferth ran away from college with her Christian boyfriend and followed him to Nicaragua to join the Sandinistas. In Revolution: The Year I Fell In Love and Went to Join the War, Unferth recounts her struggles to find “revolution jobs”, the subsequent disillusionment, and the eventual end of the Cold War in this rumination of what happens to a country and its people after the revolution is over.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Russian Espionage and Christian Carion's film "Farewell"

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Filmmaker Christian Carion and CIA veteran Jack Divine discuss Russian spies and international espionage in the 1980s. Carion’s film “Farewell” is set in Moscow in 1981, and recounts the true story of a disenchanted KGB colonel who gives top-secret documents to a French businessman working in Russia in an effort to end of the Cold War and create a better world for his son.

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Studio 360

Bomb Scare

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Twenty years ago today, at a press conference aboard the Russian cruise ship Maxim Gorky, the end of the Cold War was officially declared.  And yet the fear accompanying nuclear weaponry remains, as evidenced by President Obama's explanation of the stakes in Afghanistan on Tuesday night: “We know that al Qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them.”

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Studio 360

Remembering Sputnik

Friday, October 05, 2007

Where were you when Sputnik launched? Russian émigrés in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach conjure up their memories from 50 years ago. Produced by Pejk Malinovski.

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Studio 360

Sputnik, Fantasy TV, Sharon Jones

Friday, October 05, 2007

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sputnik and look at the satellite’s long-lasting impact on American culture, language, and design. The writer John Haskell imagines the thoughts racing through the furry head of the most famous space dog, Laika. Plus, a look at the fantasy-filled TV season - and 1960s-style soul from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.

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Studio 360

Nuclear Monsters

Friday, November 03, 2006

Stanley Kubrick set out to make a serious drama about an accidental nuclear war, and ended up making the blackest comedy ever, Dr. Strangelove. Arun Rath explains how the bizarre, over-the-top parody of Dr. Strangelove was closer to reality than any of us would care to believe.

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Studio 360

American Prometheus

Friday, November 03, 2006

Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer led a team of thousands to create the first nuclear weapon. He was immediately hailed as an American hero, but after speaking out against the use of the bomb he was condemned as a traitor and maligned as a Communist spy. Sara Fishko ...

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Studio 360

The Bomb

Friday, March 10, 2006

This week in Studio 360, the Cold War is over -- but the atomic bomb still has a hold on us. Kurt Andersen talks with historian Richard Rhodes about how living with the threat of the bomb has changed us and our culture, high ...

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