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Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

The Racial Imaginary of the Cold War Kitchen

From Sokol’niki Park to Chicago’s South Side

This book demonstrates the ways in which the kitchen—the centerpiece of domesticity and consumerism—was deployed as a recurring motif in the ideological and propaganda battles of the Cold War. Beginning with the famous Nixon–Khrushchev kitchen debate, Baldwin shows how Nixon turned the kitchen into a space of exception, while contemporary writers, artists, and activists depicted it as a site of cultural resistance. Focusing on a wide variety of literature and media from the United States and the Soviet Union, Baldwin reveals how the binary logic at work in Nixon’s discourse—setting U.S. freedom against Soviet totalitarianism—erased the histories of slavery, gender subordination, colonialism, and racial genocide. The Racial Imaginary of the Cold War Kitchen treats the kitchen as symptomatic of these erasures, connecting issues of race, gender, and social difference across national boundaries. This rich and rewarding study—embracing the literature, film, and photography of the era—will appeal to a broad spectrum of scholars.

256 pages | 6 x 9

Literature and Literary Criticism: Slavic Languages

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Table of Contents

Preface • Acknowledgments • Introduction: Cold War Hot Kitchen • Envy and Other Warm Guns: Ray and Charles Eames at the American National Exhibition in Moscow • Reframing the Cold War Kitchen: Sylvia Plath, Byt, and the Radical Imaginary of The Bell Jar • Alice Childress, Natalya Baranskaya, and the Conditions of Cold War Womanhood • Lorraine Hansberry and the Social Life of Emotions • Selling the Homeland: Silk Stockings, Stilyagi, and Style • Epilogue: A Kitchen in History • Notes • Index

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