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Film

'Fail Safe' and the (De)Evolution of Cold War Ethics

Directed by the master of claustrophobic tension Sidney Lumet, Fail Safe (1964) is one of the most gripping Atomic Era thrillers ever made and its message resonates to this day.

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Books

'Bright Signals' Is a Rich Cultural and Social History of a Taken-for-granted Medium

In the development of television, "color wars" are analogous to the adoption of VHS over BetaMax and Blu-ray over HD-DVD technologies. Murray's study shows how the adoption of standards in media technology directly impact audiences to this day.

Television

Going Back to Things Unknown with 'The Outer Limits'

The Outer Limits is a mix of science fiction, nightmares, and surrealism -- the very things that make life worth living even though they scare the bejeebers out of us.

Books

'The Prisoner' Has Superbly Outlived Its Original Context

Rogue filmmaker Alex Cox ties The Prisoner's island mentality and palpable "cupcake fascism" to current political events, including Brexit, in I Am Not a Number.

Reviews

What Is Permissible in the Name of Science, Wartime Expediency, and National Security?

"Our Germans beat their Germans," someone quipped when Wernher von Braun's team of rocketeers put Americans on the Moon, but Operation Paperclip reveals that US involvement with ex-Nazi scientists was far deeper, and far darker.

Reviews

The Spent, Dishonest Men of 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold'

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a richly rewarding film, but you'll endure a twisty plot that delivers no clear lessons or moral uplift.

Reviews

In from the Cold: 'George F. Kennan: An American Life'

George F. Kennan, diplomat and intellectual, in many ways resembles a character in a John le Carré novel. John Lewis Gaddis, a Cold War historian at Yale, places his life in perspective.

Books

Barbarians Against Barbarians: Henry Kissinger's 'On China'

The diplomat believes he’s a skillful player, he believes he’s in control; but the game is much bigger than he is, and defines what he can and cannot do.

Reviews

'Shock Corridor': The Enemy Within

Sam Fuller’s lurid 1963 potboiler about an egomaniacal journalist going undercover in an asylum strips bare the schizophrenia of postwar America with vicious hyperbole.

Books

K Blows Top by Peter Carlson

Carlson effectively conjures the post-Stalin era of the Cold War and the inherent media absurdities revolving around Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Premier; the man who once promised to bury us all.

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