• Soothing the Savage Beast: Music in the Cultural Cold War, 1945-1991

      Martin, Morag; Daly, John P.; Leslie, W. Bruce; Clark, Shellie M.; The College at Brockport (2015-05-16)
      From the beginning of the Cold War, music was recognized by governments as a powerful tool to persuade people that their particular way of life was superior, a “soft power” to be wielded in the cultural battle that resulted when atomic power raised the stakes of military conflict. Musicians and consumers, however, were not without agency in the messages they produced and embraced, and their messages frequently came into conflict with both communism and the Western world. Utilizing government documents, news sources, oral histories, and song lyrics, this paper examines the interplay of music, government, and the people during the Cold War. The study of the effects of music on Cold War politics and the relationships of people to their own governments provides evidence of the power of music to influence historical events, and illuminates the lengths to which government agencies have gone to control that influence.