Cold War Broadcasting

Impact on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
out of print
$50.95 / €42.95 / £36.95
Publication date: 
596 pages

The book examines the role of Western broadcasting to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe during the Cold War, with a focus on Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. It includes chapters by radio veterans and by scholars who have conducted research on the subject in once-secret Soviet bloc archives and in Western records. It also contains a selection of translated documents from formerly secret Soviet and East European archives, most of them published here for the first time.

Previous studies have examined the history and organization of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, and their place in American national security strategy. What has been lacking until now are studies of the impact of Western Cold War broadcasting, on both societies and Communist regimes, that draw on archival material from the other side of the former Iron Curtain.

Preface by the editors
Foreword by Timothy Garton Ash
Introduction by A. Ross Johnson

Chapter One: RFE’s Early Years: Evolution of Broadcast Policy and Evidence of Broadcast Impact, Paul B. Henze
Chapter Two: Goals of Radio Liberty, Gene Sosin
Chapter Three: The Voice of America: A Brief Cold War History, Alan L. Heil Jr.

Chapter Four: Cold War Radio Jamming, George W. Woodard
Appendix A: Types of Jamming
Appendix B: An Example of a Shortwave Broadcasting Station During the Cold War
Chapter Five: The Audience to Western Broadcasts to the USSR During the Cold War: An External Perspective, R. Eugene Parta
Chapter Six: The Foreign Radio Audience in the USSR During the Cold War: An Internal Perspective, Elena I. Bashkirova
Chapter Seven: The Audience to Western Broadcasts to Poland During the Cold War, Lechosław Gawlikowski (with Yvette Neisser Moreno)
Appendix C: Weekly Listening Rates for Major Western Broadcasters to Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and the USSR During the Cold War

Chapter Eight: Radio Free Europe in the Eyes of the Polish Communist Elite, Jane Leftwich Curry
Chapter Nine: Polish Regime Countermeasures Against Radio Free Europe, Paweł Machcewicz
Chapter Ten: Radio Free Europe’s Impact in Romania During the Cold War, Nestor Ratesh
Chapter Eleven: Ceauşescu’s War Against Our Ears, Germina Nagat
Chapter Twelve: Just Noise? Impact of Radio Free Europe in Hungary, István Rév
Chapter Thirteen: Bulgarian Regime Countermeasures Against Radio Free Europe, Jordan Baev

Chapter Fourteen: Soviet Reactions to Foreign Broadcasting in the 1950s, Vladimir Tolz (with Julie Corwin)
Chapter Fifteen: Foreign Media, the Soviet Western Frontier, and the Hungarian and Czechoslovak Crises, Amir Weiner
Chapter Sixteen: Water Shaping the Rock: Cold War Broadcasting Impact in Latvia, Peter Zvagulis

Chapter Seventeen: Cold War International Broadcasting and the Road to Democracy. A. Ross Johnson and R. Eugene Parta

I. Regime Perceptions of Western Broadcasters

1. 1977. Interior Ministry Analysis of Foreign Propaganda against Bulgaria
2. 1986. Interior Ministry Report on the Staff of the Bulgarian Service of RFE
3. 1989. Bulgarian Politburo Discussion on RFE Monitoring Reports

German Democratic Republic
4. 1970. Stasi Report on West German Government’s Attitude to RFE and RL

5. 1973. Report to Politburo and Politburo Resolution on Fight against “Imperialist Propaganda”
6. 1978. Hungarian Central Committee Discusses Implementation of 1973 Resolution

7. 1964. Securitate Reports on RFE’s Encouragement of Romanian Independence from USSR

8. 1966. Letter from Army Main Political Administration to Interior Minister on “Hostile” Radio Propaganda
9. 1967. Foreign Intelligence Report on RFE
10. 1976. Analysis of Western Radio “Propaganda” Directed at Poland

"This collection of documents and scholarly analysis marks a major advance in the discussion, and furthers understanding the role of propaganda and reliable information in shaping the complex dynamics of the Cold War. Summing up: Highly recommended." In addition, Choice designated the book as an Outstanding Academic Title.
"Cold War Broadcasting is a vital research tool, and will no doubt pave the way for further archive-based studies about Western radios’ impact on the populations behind the Iron Curtain."
"Now we have this wonderful book to explain to us how the Voices functioned, what their problems and successes were, how jamming worked, and what the authorities were worried about. Here, in one thick volume, we have the inside story of so many issues that surfaced during the Cold War, when information beamed to this part of the world was arguably the West’s most dangerous weapon. Cold War Broadcasting does not read like a novel, although the material is dramatic and exciting enough for many novels."
"Here, in one thick volume, we have the inside story of so many issues that surfaced during the Cold War, when information beamed to this part of the world was arguably the West’s most dangerous weapon. Cold War Broadcasting does not read like a novel, although the material is dramatic and exciting enough for many novels. As the title page tells us, it is a collection of studies and documents, first presented at a conference held at the Hoover Institution in 2004. I see it as a rich and reliable reference book, with contributions by outstanding scholars and seasoned practitioners."
"One would not expect a scrupulously researched academic tome to read like a spy novel, but Cold War Broadcasting manages in places to do just that. Based to a very large extent on files from Soviet-era intelligence and security establishments, this book examines the impact of government-sponsored Western broadcasting on societies behind the Iron Curtain and the efforts made to counter that impact. The most fascinating study in the book, by István Rév of Budapest, is an introspecitve and philosophical tract. Rév alludes to the fact that both Washington and Moscow intently studied one another's messages and modified thier own messages accordingly - a subtle example of international meta-broadcasting. As pointed out in this intriguing study and attested to in the words of the political elites most adversely impacted by Western radio, funding for these efforts constituted the best imaginable bargain in combating Communism, given the pervasive effect such broadcasts had on... more
"In recent years, Cold War studies have undergone a modest revolution. In addition to the many political, diplomatic, and military books and articles on the Cold War, a few scholars have begun to focus on the importance of soft power in the confl ict. Cold War Broadcasting is a welcome addition to that small but growing body of scholarship... the articles and documents provide a wealth of new information that lays the foundation for a critical analysis of RFE/RL’s and other western broadcasters’ impact on the Soviet Union and its satellites in eastern Europe."
"This volume is an exceptional contribution to the growing literature on the politics of the 'Cultural Cold War'. Fruit of a 2004 conference at Stanford University co-sponsored by the Hoover Intsitution and the Cold War International History Project, it features analyses by former broadcasters and academics as well as over two hundred pages of documents in translation from archives across the former Soviet bloc."