Episode from the podcastFrom Boomers to Millennials: A Modern US History Podcast

Episode 9 - 1954: Pulling Strings Around the World

Released Thursday, 7th May 2020
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This wide-ranging & globe-trotting episode begins with a brief look at the successful 1953 expedition to summit Mount Everest, then pivots to some less inspiring international intrigue, as Cold War fears led the USA to meddle in the internal politics of Iran, Guatemala, & Vietnam, among other nations. John Foster Dulles's leadership of the State Department & his brother Allen Dulles's direction of the Central Intelligence Agency pushed forward a newly aggressive approach in US foreign policy, tossing aside the relatively cautious "containment" doctrine of the Truman Administration. American efforts at winning international hearts & minds ranged from persuasion (in the case of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, & the Congress for Cultural Freedom) to regime change (removing Iranian & Guatemalan leaders) & even outright mind control (in the case of Project MK-Ultra). In domestic politics, Senator Joe McCarthy (& his sidekick Roy Cohn) would finally fall from prominence after unsuccessfully targeting the US Army. President Dwight Eisenhower approved an expansion of existing New Deal economic assistance agencies in the mid-50s, but avoided creating new social programs. Finally, in the 1954 Congressional elections, Democrats regained control of the federal legislative branch, which surprisingly eased political headaches for Republican President Eisenhower, who'd been clashing with GOP conservatives over his moderate agenda.

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45m 34s
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