Returns and Repercussions

Susan L. Carruthers

in Cold War Captives

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257306
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944794 | DOI:
Returns and Repercussions

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The disappointments and frustrations experienced by once-celebrated captives, defectors, and escapees attracted little public comment. Nothing merited such attention as the moment of decision when individuals chose—or rejected—“freedom.” For these fleetingly lionized individuals, both the brevity and the selectivity of public attention were themselves sources of embitterment. Numerous individuals and organizations pounced with alacrity on stories of communist captivity and escape, stamping them with ideologically congenial meanings. But few tried to help their human subjects wrestle with difficult life adjustments or narrate their experiences in ways that might complicate the crude anticommunism that passed as the moral of these stories. While these Cold War captivities diffused into America's cultural bloodstream, the individuals themselves sank into what was often a troubled obscurity.

Keywords: Cold War; captives; defectors; escapees; adjustment; captivity

Chapter.  9186 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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