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Soviet Americanists, Academic Exchanges, the KGB and the Promotion of Video Media from Capitalist America during the Cold War
Author/s: Sergei Zhuk 
Year:  2020 Issue: 2-3 Language: English 
Pages:  20 Pg. 361-380 FullText PDF:  330 KB
DOI:  10.3280/MON2020-002018
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This essay is an attempt, made by using the personal stories of Soviet Americani-sts, to study the role of Soviet academic visitors, approved and supervised by the KGB, in promoting the cultural products from the USA - mainly such visual media as films and television - in the USSR during the period of academic exchanges after 1959. During their visits to the United States, Soviet Americanists used their leisure time not only for sightseeing, visiting museums and shopping, but also for various forms of cultural entertainment, from watching films and television shows to visiting concerts of classical and popular music. These experiences eventually affected the recommenda-tions about American cultural products, which Soviet visitors submitted to the KGB and their supervisors after their return home. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Soviet admi-nistration benefited from such useful advice about American popular films and televi-sion programs, which could be promoted in the USSR. Even the KGB administration in the Soviet Union studied the lists of recommendations made by those scholars, and used them for promoting the "progressive, humanistic" American cultural products among local Communist and Komsomol leaders for the education of Soviet audience.
Keywords: Soviet Americanists, academic exchanges, the KGB, cultural Cold War, visual media, American cultural products

Sergei Zhuk, in "MONDO CONTEMPORANEO" 2-3/2020, pp. 361-380, DOI:10.3280/MON2020-002018


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