Up to now the study of cold war history has been fully engaged in stressing the international character and broad themes of the story. This volume turns such diplomatic history upside down by studying how actions of international relations affected local popular life.

Each chapter has its origins in a major international issue, and then unfolds the consequences of that issue for some region or city. Thus the starting points for the various contributions are great unifying questions regarding postwar occupation, militarization, industrialization, and decolonization. But the ending points are small and dispersed, such as movies in Japan, race relations in the American South, forests in East Germany, and industry in Novosibirsk. Collectively, these stories show how the cold war affected every facet of life—East and West, urban and rural, in developed and developing nations, in the superpowers and on the periphery of the international system.

Jeffrey A. Engel is Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service and Associate Director of the Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs.


Preface: Bringing Diplomatic History Home
Paul Boyer

Introduction: On Writing the Local within Diplomatic History—Trends, Historiography, Purpose
Jeffrey A. Engel and Katherine Carté Engel

Part I: Daily Lives
1. Exhibition and Entertainment: Hollywood and the American Reconstruction of Defeated Japan
Hiroshi Kitamura
2. The Cultural Contradictions of Cold War Education: West Berlin and the Youth Revolt of the 1960s
Jeremi Suri
3. The Cold War and the American South
Thomas Borstelmann

Part II: The Industrial Impact of the Military-Industrial Complex
4. The Impact of the Early Cold War on an American City: The Aerospace Industry in Seattle
Richard S. Kirkendall
5. When the Movie's Over: The Post–Cold War Restructuring of Los Angeles
Michael Oden
6. Cold War Frontier: Building the Defense Complex in Novosibirsk
Anita Seth

Part III: Environmental Costs
7. Project Lamachus: The Cold War Comes to Scotland—The Holy Loch U.S. Nuclear Submarine Base and Its Impact on Scotland, 1959–1974
Alan B. Dobson and Charlie Whitham
8. Landscape Change in Central Europe and Stalin's Postwar Strategy, 1945–1949
Arvid Nelson
9. Nuclear Country: The Militarization of the U.S. Northern Plains, 1954–1975
Catherine McNicol Stock
10. "At Least in Those Days We Had Enough to Eat": Colonialism, Independence, and the Cold War in Catumbela, Angola, 1974–1977
Jeremy Ball
11. Cold War and Colonialism: The Case of East Timor
Luís Nuno Rodrigues


“This will be a welcome addition to the new cold war history, both as a contribution to internationalizing that conflict and also because of the bottom-up, social history approach that provides the basic framework for the chapters.”—Thomas Zeiler, University of Colorado at Boulder

“Presents both new and little-known material and presents a fresh, compelling way to look at the Cold War. This collection of essays will contribute significantly to our understanding of the Cold War, and of diplomatic and international history in general.”—Andrew Preston, Cambridge University

“All in all, this collection of essays represents an important contribution to a fuller understanding of the Cold War. To make the connection between the decisions of those in power and the ordinary people the decisions affect is a worthy and valuable direction for the future of diplomatic history.”—Mark Carson, Journal of Cold War Studies

“[I]lluminating in its description of the mechanisms and contradictions of Cold War alliances between international powers and local actors.”—War in History