While the Cold War governments of Eastern Europe operated within the confines of the Soviet worldview, their peoples confronted the narratives of both East and West. From the Soviet Union and its satellites, they heard of a West dominated by imperialist warmongers and of the glorious future only Communism could bring. A competing discourse emanated from the West, claiming that Eastern Europe was a totalitarian land of captive slaves, powerless in the face of Soviet aggression. In Curtain of Lies, Melissa Feinberg conducts a timely examination into the nature of truth, using the political culture of Eastern Europe during the Cold War as her foundation. Focusing on the period between 1948 and 1956, she looks at how the "e;truth"e; of Eastern Europe was delineated by actors on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Feinberg offers a fresh interpretation of the Cold War as a shared political environment, exploring the ways in which ordinary East Europeans interacted with these competing understandings of their homeland. She approaches this by looking at the relationship between the American-sponsored radio stations broadcast across the Iron Curtain and the East European ?migr?s they interviewed as sources on life under Communism. Feinberg's careful analysis reveals that these parties developed mutually reinforced assumptions about the meaning of Communism, helping to create the evidentiary foundation for totalitarian interpretations of Communist rule in Eastern Europe. In bridging the geopolitical and the individual, Curtain of Lies provides a perspective that is both innovative in its methodology and indispensable to its field.
Curtain of Lies
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