Jazz musicians and modern artists such as Jackson Pollock were used as propaganda by the United States to promote ideological freedom.

The US sought to counter Soviet propaganda about American racism through promoting the African American dominated genre of Jazz, whilst Abstract Expressionists such as Pollock were considered antidotes to Soviet Realism.

How this can be used in the classroom:

  • A great starter activity is getting students to juxtapose American art with Soviet Realism.
  • Ask students to explore what potential impact this propaganda would have.
  • Get students to consider whether the Cold War was as much a cultural confrontation as it was a political and economic war.

Giles Fullard, Head of History at Nene Park Academy, was inspired to suggest this teaching idea after hearing Dr Alex Goodall (University College London), speak about The Cold War: A World Divided at the New Teacher Subject Day on The Cold War.

Schools Programme members can download the resources from the event in the PTI Staffroom.

Want to discover more inspiring subject knowledge? See our upcoming courses and events for 2016/17, including our CPD subject day on The Rise of National Socialism, and our annual James Sabben-Clare lecture delivered by Professor Simon Schama CBE.

Find more knowledge nuggets here.

Image: By Central Intelligence Agency - Crusade for Freedom / Cold War Radios, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21848146.