Red Dawn to Red Heat: The Persistence of American Ambivalence towards the Soviet Union in the Gorbachev Era

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2014-09-26
Authors
Campos, Joseph II
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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As the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics teetered on the brink of extinction, and as the emergence of an active political culture within the Soviet Union took shape, the United States hailed the triumph of democracy and the destruction of its great nemesis of the twentieth century. With the official abolition of the Soviet Union in December 1991, an attitude emerged in the United States that the ends had justified the means. The means of fifty years of hostile Cold Warriorism had secured the end of the Soviet communism and Soviet domination over Eastern Europe. The question remains whether or not the American people learned anything from the hostility of the Cold War. The attitude that the Cold War secured the end of communism leads to grave problems in the search for peace and security. Can the American people and the American government live without an enemy? Will the American people be able to readjust their attitudes towards the former Soviet Union, throwing off the burden of an attitude steeped in mistrust and hostility? In looking at recent American perceptions of the Soviet Union during the Gorbachev era, one may question whether the American people can form a new image and perception of the Soviet people and government.
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63 pages
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