Saturday, March 22, 2014

Re-living the Cold War Online

It may seem odd to start out this blog with a post about the Cold War, but one of the delights of teaching the second half of the U.S. history survey is that I get to go spelunking in the amazing resources on youTube.  You heard that right, youTube.  There are so many videos available from this time that I could devote an entire week of classes to watching things like...

I also showed my class clips from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).  This is such a classic and the laughs feel fresh to me.  I asked the class whether they thought something like this could actually have happened.  The class seemed split 50-50.  It's a doomsday fantasy, a serious critique conveyed through satire, but implausible, right?  Right?


According to journalist and writer Eric Schlosser, author of Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety (2013) it looks like the answer is -- yes! something like this could have happened.  (Well, maybe without the fluoridated water bit.)  You can read all about the truths behind Dr. Strangelove in Schlosser's recent New Yorker article.  Sometimes it's best...not to know, you know? 

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget Bert the Turtle encouraging all good children to stay safe from nuclear explosion through "Duck and Cover" - gotta love that video :-)