"Bringing the Foundation of Freedom:" U.S. Political Culture and Foreign Policy during the Cold War, 1945 - 1963
Date: Monday April 30, 2012, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (includes travel time from Reading)
Location: John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston

This session will open with a consideration of the multitude of ways in which the “struggle for the world” played out during the early-mid Cold War from 1945 – 1963. Connecting domestic political culture with U.S. Cold War foreign policy, we will examine how the United States military and other state and domestic programs worked to project an image of the United States to a global audience. We will also explore the sense of a U.S. responsibility to bring American ideals, products, culture, values, and democracy to the world. While at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum we will work in the museum galleries and with primary source documents to explore the main developments in American politics and society during the years of the Kennedy administration, with emphasis on foreign policy and international connections including confrontations between the USA and the USSR over Berlin, the Peace Corps, the space race, and the civil rights movement. President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address will be our guiding focus as we consider its global audience and how the Kennedy administration’s domestic and foreign policies relate to that seminal document.

Instructions for Follow-Up Wiki Post




Session Resources



Session Email Reminder and Important Information:



Driving and Parking Directions to the JFK Library and Museum:


Advanced Readings:
As the summary above indicates, this session will take a broader look at Cold War history by focusing on issues, policy, and events prior to and including the Kennedy administration. In particular, our advanced readings address the connections between Cold War policy and domestic U.S. political culture.These readings guide us to consider some of the ways in which American culture, personal connections and relationships took on broader public meanings within the context of the Cold War “struggle for the world.” These readings also provide a framework for examining how people in the U.S. viewed themselves, the world, and their role in it during the early-mid Cold War era.
Please complete the following advanced readings prior to our session:

A) Oh, Arissa. "A New Kind of Missionary Work: Christians, Christian Americanists, and the Adoption of Korean GI Babies, 1955 - 1961." Women's Studies Quarterly 33, No. 3/4, Gender and Culture in the 1950s (Fall -Winter, 2005): 161-188. (Attached to the April 11th reminder email.)

B) Michener, James. "Pursuit of Happiness by a GI and a Japanese." Life Magazine 38, no. 28 (February 21, 1955): 124 - 41. Available through Google Books: http://tinyurl.com/GIandJapaneseMarriage

Some guiding questions for these readings include:
- Based on the issues and events described in these articles, how did Americans in the early-mid Cold War era, view themselves, the world, and their role in it?
- How do the domestic, personal events and issues described in these articles align with the Cold War?

Session Agenda with Standards Connections: