When the Russians really were coming: citizen diplomacy and the end of Cold War enmity in America

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Between 1985 and 1989 hundreds of Soviet citizens came to the United States in projects initiated by American activists who feared nuclear war and hoped to improve relations with the USSR. This ambitious citizen diplomacy led to hundreds of thousands of encounters between Soviet visitors and Americans that shattered negative stereotypes. Since the Soviet visitors received extensive media coverage, the programs had broad impacts on attitudes in many American towns and cities. As a result, ‘the Cold War’ ended in the hearts and minds of many Americans long before the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-440
Number of pages22
JournalCold War History
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations

Keywords

  • American
  • Citizen diplomacy
  • Cold War
  • Russian
  • Soviet
  • enmity
  • image
  • stereotype

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