In this cultural history of the origins of the Cold War, John
Fousek argues boldly that American nationalism provided the
ideological glue for the broad public consensus that supported U.S.
foreign policy in the Cold War era. From the late 1940s through the
late 1980s, the United States waged cold war against the Soviet
Union not primarily in the name of capitalism or Western
civilization--neither of which would have united the American
people behind the cause--but in the name of America.
Through close readings of sources that range from presidential
speeches and popular magazines to labor union debates and the
African American press, Fousek shows how traditional nationalist
ideas about national greatness, providential mission, and manifest
destiny influenced postwar public culture and shaped U.S. foreign
policy discourse during the crucial period from the end of World
War II to the beginning of the Korean War. Ultimately, he says, in
the atmosphere created by apparently unceasing international
crises, Americans rallied around the flag, eventually coming to
equate national loyalty with global anticommunism and an
interventionist foreign policy.