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Understanding the Imaginary WarCulture, Thought and Nuclear Conflict, 1945-90$
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Matthew Grant and Benjamin Ziemann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781784994402

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784994402.001.0001

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Introduction: the Cold War as an imaginary war

Introduction: the Cold War as an imaginary war

(p.1) 1 Introduction: the Cold War as an imaginary war
Understanding the Imaginary War

Matthew Grant

Benjamin Ziemann

Manchester University Press

This chapter interprets the Cold War as an imaginary war, imaginary in the sense that formats that are usually described as fictitious – from dreams and nightmares, films and novels to forecasts and scenarios – had an important bearing on the reality of the Cold War as a nuclear confrontation. The chapter argues that representations of the nuclear threat have to be situated in discourses about national and international security and about the role of nuclear deterrence in the postwar world.

Keywords:   atomic bomb, Cold War, collective imagination, George Orwell, metaphor

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