Culture, Power, and Mission to Moscow: Film and Soviet-American Relations during World War II, by Todd Bennett


By 1942, the U.S. government faced increasing criticism for its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union, a problem in U.S. foreign policy that has become a staple in undergraduate courses covering World War II. Todd Bennett's article helps students think about the ties between diplomacy and popular culture in this era by focusing on the government-sponsored Hollywood movie Mission to Moscow. Images, texts, and film clips relating to this 1943 picture, which portrayed Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in a positive light, show that the influence of diplomacy and film was mutual and complex. Although the filmmakers wanted a popular film, and the State Department wanted a film that furthered its policy, the final product was a mixture of these two aimsówith a twist: though largely a failure with U.S. audiences, Mission to Moscow claimed Stalin's interest and found an audience in the Soviet Union.

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The full-text of the article as it appeared in the March 2002 issue of the Journal

Teaching the Article

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Primary Sources

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Further Reading

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