The chapter called “Popular Culture as History: The Cold War Comes Home” centers on the ambiance of the period addressed. The author has selected the primary sources that display the way the culture was influencing the lives of people and their reasoning. Notably, during that time, the population and authorities were concerned with the ideas propagated by the communism (Strinati 137). The author of the chapter provided different resources to exhibit to the reader the way popular culture affected the setting. The purpose of this paper is to decompose three primary sources provided by the writer and discuss the way they support Whitfield’s argument.
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According to Whitfield’s argument, popular culture was strongly restricted. The Cold War had an immense influence on the lives of people since they were afraid to be considered communists. Individuals engaged in the music industry, television, writing, and so we’re under a constant threat (Vegso 36). Many of them were put on lists; therefore, the atmosphere was rather tense. One of the primary sources that support the argument of Whitfield is a movie advertisement. The title of the film is I Married a Communist, and it can be assumed that the primary source ridicules the atmosphere in the country (Hollitz, Advertisement 233). The seriousness of the setting was presented ironically to emphasize the fact that communism was controlled intensely. Even though the image does not provide an opportunity to evaluate the content of the entire film, the illustration makes it possible to comprehend that the setting in the state has become a parody of the Marxist theory (Stonor Saunders 133). Despite the humoristic attitude, the movie reveals that the woman has to forget about her rights when she decides to choose a communist as her partner.
Another primary source that supports Whitfield’s argument is “A Game Show Producer Remembers the Red Scare (1995)”. The reading served as evidence of the fact that people were under severe pressure during the Cold War even if they did not support any of the sides. According to the source, Goodson could not invite certain people to the show. If he did it, he would be suspected of supporting the “wrong” party. Also, the enterprise did not want to have any relation to the representatives of “Red Channels” (Hollitz, A Game Show Producer 235). It was quite likely that the show would not have been broadcast since Goodson was reluctant to reject certain people. Overall, the source revealed that the entertainment industry was subjected to outside pressure, and it was undesirable to be associated with communism.
The third reference that reiterates the argument is “A Playwright Recalls the Red Scare (1995)”. It is a recollection of the events by Arthur Miller. According to the reading, the man was regarded as “an anti-American”, which gave other people the right to accuse and assault Miller (Hollitz, A Playwright Recalls 237). Strong politicization of the entertainment industry placed limits on everyone involved in it. It was stated in the source that the film studio created a short that they would “run before each showing of the film in the movie theaters” (Hollitz, A Playwright Recalls 238). The short was inaccurate and did not reveal the core of Miller’s work. Moreover, it was misleading, and the short intended to persuade the audience that the job shown in Miller’s work was great and revealed the essence of the American dream, which contradicted with the initial intention of the author.
Thus, it can be concluded that the three primary sources support the argument proposed by Whitfield. They indicated that people working in the entertainment industry often did not have a proper choice due to the existing politicization. If their decision did not comply with the main political and social discourse, these people were subjected to outside pressure.
Hollitz, John. Advertisement for I Married a Communist (1949). Thinking through the Past, by Hollitz, 5th ed., vol. 2, Cengage Learning, 2015, p. 233.
A Game Show Producer Remembers the Red Scare (1995). Thinking through the Past, by Hollitz, 5th ed., vol. 2, Cengage Learning, 2015, pp. 234-237.
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A Playwright Recalls the Red Scare (1995). Thinking through the Past, by Hollitz, 5th ed., vol. 2, Cengage Learning, 2015, pp. 237-238.
Stonor Saunders, Frances. The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. The New Press, 2013.
Strinati, Dominic. An Introduction to Studying Popular Culture. Routledge, 2014.
Vegso, Roland. The Naked Communist: Cold War Modernism and the Politics of Popular Culture. Fordham University Press, 2012.