Iron Curtain: From Stage to Cold War

Paperback | November 15, 2009

byPatrick Wright

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'From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. . .' With these words Winston Churchill famously warned the world in a now legendary speech given in Fulton, Missouri, on March 5, 1946. Launched as an evocative metaphor, the 'Iron Curtain' quickly became a brutal reality in the Cold War between Capitalist West and Communist East. Not surprisingly, for many years, people on both sides of the division have assumed that the story of the Iron Curtain began with Churchill's 1946 speech.In this fascinating investigation, Patrick Wright shows that this was decidedly not the case. Starting with its original use to describe an anti-fire device fitted into theatres, Iron Curtain tells the story of how the term evolved into such a powerful metaphor and the myriad ways in which it shapedthe world for decades before the onset of the Cold War. Along the way, it offers fascinating perspectives on a rich array of historical characters and developments, from the lofty aspirations and disappointed fate of early twentieth century internationalists, through the topsy-turvy experiences of the first travellers to Soviet Russia, to thetheatricalization of modern politics and international relations. And, as Wright poignantly suggests, the term captures a particular way of thinking about the world that long pre-dates the Cold War - and did not disappear with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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'From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. . .' With these words Winston Churchill famously warned the world in a now legendary speech given in Fulton, Missouri, on March 5, 1946. Launched as an evocative metaphor, the 'Iron Curtain' quickly became a brutal reality in the ...

Patrick Wright is a writer with an interest in the cultural dimensions of modern life. He is the author of a number of highly acclaimed best-selling history books, including The Village that Died for England (1995) and Tank: the Progress of a Monstrous War Machine (2000), described by Simon Schama as 'a tour de force.' He has written...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.06 inPublished:November 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199239681

ISBN - 13:9780199239689

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Paths Cross on the Jaroslaw DabrowskiPart I: Carrying on in Missouri1. Bullet's big day2. In the name of the common people3. Prophecy and hindsightPart II: From Drury Lane to the Theatre of the West (1914-1918)4. First call5. Dividing Europe's horizon6. The Belgian variation7. In defence of othernessPart III: Wrapping Red Russia (1917-20)8. First delegation9. Not just a frontier10. Relocating the Allied blockade11. Fact-finding with limousinesPart IV: The Broken International (1921-1927)12. The view from Locarno13. Snapshots from a land of contrasts14. Comrade Bukharin's versionPart V: Stalin's Ring of Trust (1927-1939)15. No end to the Potemkin complex16. Friends against famine17. Steeled minds and the God that failedPart VI: Succession and Afterlife18. Sliding back to Churchill19. After the crossingAfterword: Gone with the Berlin Wall?AcknowledgementsAppendix 1: 'Bach's Christmas Music in England and in Germany', by Vernon LeeAppendix 2: 'The Refreshment Room at Narva', by Charles Roden BuxtonNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"...stimulating, amusing... fascinating adventure ride of a book." --Frederick Taylor, Literary Review 01/11/2007