? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 4 years ago

Can someone who lived during the cold war era answer the questions below?

the person's first and last name— check that you spelled it correctly

his or her date of birth

the list of places that he or she lived between 1945 and 1989

the date and time of the interview

Part B

1. What was the first time you remember hearing about the Soviet Union (or the USSR) and its conflict with the United States? Tell me about it.

2. What do you remember seeing or reading in the news about the Cold War?

3. What books did you read or movies did you watch that villainized the Soviet Union or dealt with the Cold War? How did they shape your impressions at that time?

4. What were you taught in school and at home about the Soviet Union? What did your school and family teach about nuclear threats and nuclear war?

5. Were you or any of your family members ever afraid that there would be a hot war or nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union? When did you feel that way? If yes, did you do anything to prepare or get ready for it?

6. What aspects of the Space Race do you remember? Was "Space Race" a phrase that you remember using at the time? What did it mean to you?

7. How was the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union promoted in sports? Can you think of any specific examples?

8. Do you remember the Berlin Wall coming down? How did it make you feel? How have your feelings about that era changed since 1989 and the Berlin Wall coming down?

9. How do you think future generations will remember the Cold War? What lessons should students today take away from the Cold War?

10. How does psychological warfare today compare to psychological warfare during the Cold War?

11. Where you a participant of the cold war?

12. Do you think the cold war was necessary?

1 Answer

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  • 4 years ago
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    the person's first and last name— check that you spelled it correctly

    [I don't want to put it here. E-mail me.]

    his or her date of birth

    August 12, 1951

    the list of places that he or she lived between 1945 and 1989

    Seriously?

    Falls Church, Virginia

    Clifton, Virginia

    Ithaca, New York

    Columbia, Missouri

    Washington, D.C.

    Arlington, Virginia

    Fairfax, Virginia

    the date and time of the interview

    December 14, 2013, 1:10 am

    Part B

    1. What was the first time you remember hearing about the Soviet Union (or the USSR) and its conflict with the United States? Tell me about it.

    About 1956. In school.

    2. What do you remember seeing or reading in the news about the Cold War?

    Lots. Too broad a question. I remember Khrushchev banging his shoe at the United Nations. The Kennedy-Nixon debates when the subject of communism came up. Castro coming to power, then revealing that he was a communist. The Cuban missile crisis. The building of the Berlin Wall.

    3. What books did you read or movies did you watch that villainized the Soviet Union or dealt with the Cold War? How did they shape your impressions at that time?

    All sorts of books did that, though I was a bit young at the time. But 1984 is an fictionalized critique of communism; I read that and understood it. Lots of spy and suspense novels had the Soviet Union as the enemy. I read the book Fail Safe before seeing the movie. Movies: The Manchurian Candidate. From Russia with Love. And music--especially Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction."

    4. What were you taught in school and at home about the Soviet Union? What did your school and family teach about nuclear threats and nuclear war?

    That the leaders of the Soviet Union wanted to dominate the world. At school, we went through practices (you can see some on YouTube) of ducking under our desks in case there was a nuclear attack.

    5. Were you or any of your family members ever afraid that there would be a hot war or nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union? When did you feel that way? If yes, did you do anything to prepare or get ready for it?

    Yes, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We were especially concerned because we were within the range of the Cuban missiles. Worse, we lived less than a mile from a missile battery defending the U.S., and which obviously would have been a prime target during a war.

    6. What aspects of the Space Race do you remember? Was "Space Race" a phrase that you remember using at the time? What did it mean to you?

    We didn't use the term "Space Race." I remember when Sputnik went up and the U.S. realized it was in second place in exploring space. I also remember Kennedy's 1961 Inaugural Address in which he pledged to land a man on the moon and return him by the end of the decade. I remember the various space shots, including John Glenn's circling of the earth. And I remember Neil Armstrong and the moon landing in 1969. It seemed that the U.S. took the lead over Russia fairly quickly and never relinquished it.

    7. How was the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union promoted in sports? Can you think of any specific examples?

    I'm sure it came up in the Olympics. That would have been about the only time the U.S. and the Soviet Union would have competed against each other. But while I enjoyed the Olympics, I wasn't really focused on the U.S.-Soviet Union competition.

    8. Do you remember the Berlin Wall coming down? How did it make you feel? How have your feelings about that era changed since 1989 and the Berlin Wall coming down?

    Yes. I was an adult by then. In fact, my son was born in 1989. The Berlin Wall coming down was part of the bigger picture of the collapse of the Soviet Union. So while the Wall coming down was important (and dramatic), I saw it as one of the most visible representations of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    9. How do you think future generations will remember the Cold War? What lessons should students today take away from the Cold War?

    I don't think they'll remember it or understand its significance. I don't think today's generation does. Lessons? That an arms race can be horribly expensive. That you can trade away some civil liberties, either temporarily or permanently. (Look at the influence of Joseph McCarthy. Then look at Ted Cruz.)

    10. How does psychological warfare today compare to psychological warfare during the Cold War?

    It's way more sophisticated now. But that's because we know more about psychology and persuasion.

    11. Where you a participant of the cold war?

    Do you mean "Were you..."? No, not really. I was in elementary school, high school, college, and after college.

    12. Do you think the cold war was necessary?

    Odd question. Necessary? I suspect this is the "wrong" answer, but: Yes. It was necessary. The U.S. had to stand up for what it believed in. And the Soviet Union had to do what it had to do.

    Hope that helps.

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