Nuclear War And The Cold War Essay

1436 WordsOct 7, 20166 Pages
The vast majority of the American public know the Cold War as a period of political and state tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. This era is often associated with the advancement of scientific research and arms build up as a result of the competition between these world superpowers, especially through the development of the nuclear bomb. Aside from the actual politics of the Cold War, Joseph Masco, professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, argues in his novel, The Theater of Operations, that the Cold War provided a psychological platform for the U.S. security state to transform everyday American’s perceptions of mass death. Through multiple government operations during the Cold War, the idea of nuclear disaster was presented as an undeniable threat to the American people, and instilled to a certain extent a sense of nuclear fear. Masco believes that the current state of mind in the counterterror state is merely just a continuation of the effects of the Cold War’s psychological conditioning. Additionally, Masco argues that the nuclear projects during the Cold War helped initiate the advancement of earth science research. He feels that through the increased knowledge in these fields, the Cold War nuclear projects were linked to environmental concerns. Through these examples, Masco demonstrates his view on how the Cold War has influenced the U.S. cultural understanding of nuclear threats. Masco argues that the psychological efforts during the decades
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