At the monthly PoSoCoMeS seminar on 3 October 2022, 5.30 pm (CET), TBA discusses how a glossy Russian-language magazine used to influence Russians, with Diana Cucuz, author of the book: “Winning Women’s Hearts and Minds: Selling Cold War Culture in the US and the USSR” (University of Toronto Press, 2022).
This book discusses how the magazine Amerika, produced by the United States Information Agency (USIA), America’s firstpeacetime propaganda organization, was used to influence Russians, and convince women in particular that an American-style consumer culture and conservative gender norms could better their lives. Winning Women’s Hearts and Minds relieson USIA archives, issues of Amerika, and American women’s magazines such as the Ladies’ Home Journal to show how, during the postwar period, USIA officials deployed idealized images of American women as happy, fulfilled, and feminine wives, mothers, and homemakers. This study analyses how Amerika was used to appeal to Russian women. Portrayed in the US media as “babushkas,” they were considered unfeminine, overworked, and deprived of consumer goods and services by a repressive regime. Diana Cucuz provides a gendered analysis of the USIA and of Amerika, whose propaganda campaign relied heavily on postwar conservative gender norms and images of domestic contentment toconvey positive messages about the American way of life in the hopes of undermining that Soviet regime.
See further details at the publisher’s website: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/philosophy-psychology-social-sciences/winning-womens-hearts-and-minds,diana-cucuz-9781487503772