CONELRAD Special Projects - Soviet America - The Fear of What Might Have Been

The term "Soviet America" is CONELRAD's shorthand for the underlying, but powerful domestic fear that energized and drove the Cold War for more than 40 years. While our elected officials seldom discussed this notion of Soviet invasion and enslavement, it was imagined and re-imagined in the popular culture like an endless fever dream.

'The Red blueprint for world control by 1970' - circa 1959

The grim, if now laughable, specter of gulag imprisonment, rationed Russian food and substandard television programming affected the psyches of millions of Americans from the moment the Soviets tested their first A-bomb in 1949 until a tipsy Boris Yeltsin took office in 1991. In between these two momentous events numerous books, films, television programs, albums and "pageants" depicted, warned and worried about what might happen if America was conquered by the Communists.

Some of these works were subtle and allegorical like the Science Fiction "invasion" films of the 1950's. Others were blatant and ham-handed like the 1987 television miniseries AMERIKA, a behemoth and wooden production that likely prolonged the Cold War by approximately 14 hours. Collectively, the films, books, records, pageants and television programs represent a shared paranoid delusion that should never be forgotten.

In this wide-ranging feature, CONELRAD seeks to fully explore, preserve and revel in the various artifacts and events that contributed to the rich legacy of "Soviet America." From reactionary Hollywood fare that exacerbated the panic that Communist agents actually lived and plotted among us (THE RED MENACE, I MARRIED A COMMUNIST, THE WHIP HAND, etc.) to outright illustrations of Communist domination (the films INVASION USA, RED NIGHTMARE, RED DAWN and AMERIKA) to real life political theater such as the mock Communist take-over of Mosinee, Wisconsin (1950) to pamphlets and books warning of Soviet invasion, CONELRAD will present it all here for your post-Cold War entertainment and enlightenment.

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