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This book explores a widely lived yet little remembered facet of America's cultural and political history: the Cold War as experienced at the grassroots level. Here, Fried traces the cresting of modern patriotic observance during World War II and then shows how patriotic and civic activists afterwards labored to recreate a remembered unity and commitment in the tension-filled Cold War era. A variety of national and local entities mounted campaigns "to sell America to the Americans" through "rededication" celebrations like Know Your America Week and Freedom Week. The American Heritage Foundation wheeled out the Freedom Train, which carried seminal documents of the nation's past to railroad depots across the US. Fried revisits the 1950 "Communist invasion" of Mosinee, Wisconsin, when ersatz Stalinists harassed and bullied citizens and the town's eateries served only potato soup and black bread. He also depicts the creation and inauguration of new patriotic events like Loyalty Day and Armed Forces Day.
Meticulously researched, this book recreates a colorful, sometimes comical, and always revealing dimension of our history.
Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: Patriotic Pageantry in America
1. Wake Up, America: Origins of Modern Patriotism
2. Precious Freight: The Freedom Train
3. Capturing the Streets for Loyalty
4. Springtime for Stalin in Mosinee
5. "The Cold War Belongs to Us All": Patriotizing the American Calendar
6. The Cornwallises Send Regrets: Historical Commemoration in the 1950s
7. Patriotic Gore
8. "Shame on Them": The Decline on Cold War Pageantry Conclusion Notes Manuscript Sources Index