Ms Keech

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Comment Podcast: Behind the Wall

Listen to “Behind the Wall,” Amy Davidson’s Comment about the Berlin Wall, twenty-five years later.<p>You can subscribe to the Comment podcast for free on iTunes or via RSS. Listen to the latest episodes of all <i>New Yorker</i> podcasts here.

Berlin Wall

CIA used Doctor Zhivago as a literary weapon during the cold war

More than 100 newly declassified documents in the US have revealed how the CIA printed Russian-language copies of Boris Pasternak's classic novel Doctor Zhivago during the cold war in an attempt to sow unrest among Soviet citizens.<p>The CIA documents reveal intriguing details about how Pasternak's …

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56 by Anne Applebaum – review

A Russian woman who visited East Germany in 1986 on a Soviet school trip described to me recently how their East German official hosts explained the Berlin wall as a necessary defence against the hordes of West Germans who wished to storm into East Germany to escape West German economic misery and …

One-Minute Animated Primers on Major Theories of Religion

Last year, Open University brought us <i>60-Second Adventures in Thought</i> — a fascinating and wonderfully animated series exploring six famous philosophy thought experiments. This season, they’re back with <b>60-Second Adventures in Religion</b> — four short informative yet jocular primers on some major …

The FBI issued a memo about 'It's a Wonderful Life', qualifying it as a communist propaganda

It is hard to believe that the 1946 American Christmas, fantasy- drama film <i>It’s a Wonderful Life</i> was once denounced by the FBI with a strange memo …

Christmas Eve

At last her letters, including many to Ted Hughes, appear in complete form. But in the years from 1940 to 1956 she had yet to come into her own as a writer<p>The posthumous editing of a famous writer is rarely as simple as it might seem, but the case of Sylvia Plath is one of the most tangled and …

Literature

'A Dazzling New Sight in the Heavens': Remembering Sputnik's First Days

Smithsonian Institution scientists Dr. Josef A. Hynek, Fred L. Whipple and Don Lautman plotting orbit of Sputnik I.<br>Dmitri Kessel—The LIFE Picture …

The Real Science That Created Frankenstein's Monster

Reputed to be Mary Godwin at age eighteen, copied from a miniature painted in Geneva, summer 1816.<br>Mary Evans Picture Library<p>1 of 10<p>In the centuries …

130. SYLVIA PLATH: The fig tree

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was an American poet and author. Showing a talent for poetry at a young age (she had a poem published when she was 8), Plath …

From Greene to le Carré to Putin v. Trump, Cold War Stories Are Still in the Air: Cold War Noir: 10 Novels That Defined an Anxious Era

The Cold War was not an event. It was the air you breathed.<p>I could not remember being without it even if I was about as aware of it as air itself. It …

Book covers have long been a source of artistic quality and, in the age of Kindle, are reintroducing more and more of us to the pleasures of traditional reading<br>• Click here to view of gallery of of images from The Illustrated Dust Jacket 1920-1970<p>When the essayist and caricaturist Sir Max Beerbohm …

Books

The history of the Cuban Missile Crisis - Matthew A. Jordan

My Extraordinary Aunt: Visions of Moscow 1969

<i>…The Bolshoi theatre serving whole meals in the foyer at interval… the Arts Theatre, home of Stanislavski, where I saw a play in Russian… the woman</i> …

America’s Unlikely Cold War Weapon

As World War II ended, America faced another challenge: the Cold War with the USSR and the Eastern Bloc it influenced. As relations began to freeze, …

The masterpiece that killed George Orwell

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."<p>Sixty years after the publication of Orwell's masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, that crystal first line sounds as natural and compelling as ever. But when you see the original manuscript, you find something else: not so …

A Day in the Life of Albert Camus

Apocalypse Later: Why Dystopian Novels Speak To Us

I love dystopias. Totalitarian governments, widespread oppression, the constant threat of death, environmental destruction, corporate hegemony: these …

Door to Door Existentialism

George Orwell’s '1984'

British Library<p>George Orwell’s '1984'<p>This resource is a primary (&/or) secondary educational video from ABC Splash.<p>1984 is a novel by British author …

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

“We’re going through!” The Commander’s voice was like thin ice breaking. He wore his full-dress uniform, with the heavily braided white cap pulled down rakishly over one cold gray eye. “We can’t make it, sir. It’s spoiling for a hurricane, if you ask me.” “I’m not asking you, Lieutenant Berg,” said …

Crime

Almost Everything in “Dr. Strangelove” Was True

This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy about nuclear weapons, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Released on January 29, 1964, the film caused a good deal of controversy. Its plot suggested that a mentally deranged American …

Thoughtcrime

Thoughtcrime is a literary game designed for use in secondary literature classes reading the novel 1984. Played in a virtual world that brings the …

The concerns of Orwell's 1946 essay remain notably relevant to the changes in written language wrought by the digital age<p>Some while ago, with reference to Orwell's essay on "Politics and the English language", I addressed the language of the internet, an issue that stubbornly refuses to go away. …

The Wonder and Terror of Propaganda: How Modern Governments Misuse Media to Manipulate the Bewildered Herd

7 ways the media are hijacking your brain with propagandaThe post The Wonder and Terror of Propaganda: How Modern Governments Misuse Media to …

You can now watch these declassified nuclear test movies on YouTube

They’re being digitized so they’re not lost forever<p>Between 1945 and 1962, the United States conducted over 200 nuclear tests up high in the atmosphere to learn about the power of nuclear weapons. The terrifying explosions were filmed from every possible angle and distance, and the movies — an …

TED-Ed

Named after its most notorious practitioner, the phenomenon known as McCarthyism destroyed lives and careers.<p>But how did it happen?

Metropolis: Context

New York, circa 1924, when Fritz Lang saw it.<p>Teaching context is one of my favourite things. I know I have a lot of favourite things but I'd like to …

Guinea Pig Theater- Waiting for Godot

Guinea Pigs

Ian McKellen Discusses "Waiting for Godot"

Ian McKellen

AFTER THE BOMB: The Best Cold War Novels (22)

Over the next year or so, I will use this page to provide a brief overview of the best Cold War novels published- both East and West. At a later …