The Cultural Cold War

By Frances Stonor Saunders,

Book cover of The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters

Book description

During the Cold War, freedom of expression was vaunted as liberal democracy's most cherished possession-but such freedom was put in service of a hidden agenda. In The Cultural Cold War, Frances Stonor Saunders reveals the extraordinary efforts of a secret campaign in which some of the most vocal exponents of…


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Why read it?

1 author picked The Cultural Cold War as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book, about the CIA’s secret funding of art and culture in the Cold War battle for hearts and minds, caused a big stir on its publication in 2000. Written by a young British researcher, it scathingly criticized the Agency’s cultural operations (a source of some pride among intelligence veterans), arguing that they compromised and undermined the very artistic values they were supposed to defend. Several writers on the same subject since, myself included, have argued with aspects of her work, but Saunders’ research and storytelling are second to none. A harsh but hugely informative and entertaining account of one…

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