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Little Cold WarriorsAmerican Childhood in the 1950s$
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Victoria M. Grieve

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190675684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190675684.001.0001

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Cold War Comics

Cold War Comics

Educating American Children for a New Global Role

Chapter:
(p.20) 1 Cold War Comics
Source:
Little Cold Warriors
Author(s):

Victoria M. Grieve

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190675684.003.0002

During the Cold War, the “creation story” of the nation, of pioneers settling the western frontier through hard work and individual striving, was pressed into national service to provide a Cold War narrative that explained the role of the United States on new frontiers in Third World nations. One of the primary ways children learned this lesson was through Western-themed popular culture. Lone Ranger comic books suggested to American children an appropriate role for the nation and for them, as its future leaders in a world of global competition. The Lone Ranger modeled for young viewers in both the United States and colonized nations the appropriate role for the postwar United States as civilizer and savior, not conqueror or colonizer, in a relationship of “benevolent supremacy.” The federal government and Hollywood mobilized this national narrative in order to encourage young Americans to fund and fight the Cold War.

Keywords:   Lone Ranger, benevolent supremacy, Cold War, comics, Peace Patrol, popular culture

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