KULT_online. Review Journal for the Study of Culture

"The red thread of Vučetić’s argument is the metaphor of the Roman god Janus’ double-face which she uses to describe Yugoslav positioning in-between the Blocs – looking at both sides, showing to each a different facet of itself, saying ‘no’ to both while never uttering an explicit ‘yes’. Consequently, the relatively unrestrained import of American cultural products to Yugoslavia proved to be a win-win situation for both regimes. Washington would happily watch the distance between Tito and other socialist leaders steadily increase, whereas Yugoslav communists would foster Yugoslav population’s sense of freedom and superiority over other socialist societies, but also strengthen the regime’s desired external image of ‘socialism with a human face’. This pattern was applied with contextual specificities in such diverse spheres of culture as film production, contemporary art, theatre, the jazz and rock music scenes, television and comics, eventually oxymoronically producing a decidedly Americanized socialist youth. Through its symbiosis of cultural, diplomatic and history of everyday life, this book provides a very important contribution not just to historiography of socialist Yugoslavia and Yugoslav-American relations, but more generally offers a welcome enrichment for the research on cultural diplomacy and Cold War Studies, further advancing the scholarly ‘thirding’ of Cold War dichotomies."
Reviewed book: 
Author: 
Radina Vucetic
Translator: 
ISBN: 
978-963-386-200-1
cloth
$65. 00 / €.58.00 / £.50.00