Mccarthyism During The Cold War

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Since the late 1940s, American cinema has been obsessed with the idea of the atomic bomb and what it stands for; whether that be destruction or absolute power depends on the film. This symbolism would then come to define the 1950s, and later on American cinema as well. This symbolism then must be addressed from the lenses of, both, history and socio-political commentary. Then the question must be posed why specifically these two lenses? The answer to this question, then, lies in the films of the 50s, and beyond. Whether this answer lies in the apocalyptic imagination present in the films or the politics of the time, McCarthyism would influence American culture far beyond the 50s, depends on the historian who is asked. The answer, then, …show more content…

Each of these wishes, then, points back to what scholars of the time period know all too well, the governments need for a justification of atomic research. This justification came primarily from the second wish granted by the gene, the wish for “a source of beneficial rays,” in which the genie grants humanity the powers of atomic medicine and atomic agriculture. The primary way atomic medicine and agriculture was used to justify atomic research was through experiments in which radioactive isotopes would be either directly injected into plants or, otherwise, put into the soil via fertilizer. These ventures into atomic agriculture and medicine were primarily fueled by organizations like the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and were used to justify a reason for atomic research that did not revolve around atomic weapons. This concern about the uses of atomic energy is further reflected in Eisenhower’s “Atom’s Peace” speech when he says, “Against the dark background of the atomic bomb, the United States does not wish merely to present strength, but also the desire and the hope for peace.” This quotation shows the need for peaceful applications of atomic energy. From here one can then look at the ideas of the nuclear test documentary. “The nuclear test documentary is a little-known subgenre of documentary activity. Most people are aware of these films—financed by the government in order to provide a lasting

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