The Cold War may be a geopolitical conflict, but it is also, and importantly, religious in tone and intensity. Anne O’Hara McCormick expressed the deep, simple, sincere conviction of millions of Americans when she wrote that “the crux of the Soviet battle is not primarily for physical things … It is for dominion over the soul. For the first time a powerful adversary not only rejects our civilization but fights to destroy everything we value. “‘
Ideological fervor was perhaps whipped up by cold and calculating politicians who wished to secure support for essentially geopolitical aims. It does not matter. For once aroused, such passions come to live a life of their own—and to react back on the calculating politicians, reshaping their minds and spirits in unanticipated ways.
The world has undoubtedly changed since President Truman announced the doctrine that bears his name. But the florid rhetoric in terms of which he justified his Cold War...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.