Tensions between the US & USSR had been building even during their awkward wartime alliance, but it was in 1947 that the Cold War became a staple feature of the post-WWII American political & diplomatic scene. This episode indulges in a very brief & oversimplified history of the Soviet Union, and then explores what caused the souring of US-Soviet relations and describes the governmental maneuvers that followed (including the founding of the CIA & NSC, passage of the Truman Doctrine's anti-Communist military aid, & the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe). This week's program also discusses the international attempts to stabilize the postwar world via the founding of the United Nations, IMF, & World Bank, plus the US imposition of democracy upon the former Japanese Empire. Domestically, Truman actually goes to bat for Big Labor against the new GOP Congress, but to no avail; Jackie Robinson's stardom shatters the color barrier in professional sports; and pilot Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier in a high-tech aircraft (by 1940s standards). We conclude by exploring the moral paradoxes of America's new role of anti-Communist superpower, and the effect of the Cold War on future US political discourse & electoral outcomes.
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