Frances Stonor Saunders described the ideological weaponization of modern art in a 1995 article in the Independent: “For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art—including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko—as a weapon in the Cold War.” Saunders's discovery is a favorite anecdote of postwar literary scholars because it solidifies the suspicion that aesthetics and politics were particularly intimate in mid-century America. Many critics argue that, since the Cold War was itself a largely rhetorical conflict, literary narrative took on new geopolitical import. In his seminal work, Containment Culture (1995), Alan Nadel writes: “[T]he American cold war is a particularly useful example of the power of large cultural narratives to unify, codify, and contain . . . the...
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Book Review| November 01 2015
Postmodernism by Design
No Accident, Comrade: Chance and Design in Cold War American Narratives(
2012) , $74.00.
Novel (2015) 48 (3): 495–498.
Katie Fitzpatrick; Postmodernism by Design. Novel 1 November 2015; 48 (3): 495–498. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-3150509
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