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The Bridges of Ideas: Transnational Network of the Book Program for Eastern Europe, 1956-1990

preprint
posted on 28.10.2021, 00:59 by Pawel SowinskiPawel Sowinski
This proposed contribution reflects on how one, relatively small U.S.-led program of cultural diplomacy shaped the attitude of Polish intellectuals towards liberalization and openness to the free world during the Cold War. The importance of the topic lies in the fact that this long-lasting literary service could be considered as a vital tool for creating more space for political and cultural freedom in Soviet-bloc countries. The program represented the spirit of solidarity and friendship between Eastern Europe and the U.S. that, even now, should not be forgotten. That thirty years after the book program ended, Eastern Europe still lacks a transnational perspective on defending universal liberal values and the process of gaining freedom in the region before 1989 demonstrates the importance of bringing the Eastern and Western narratives closer together, by reexamining the legacy of the book program today.

Funding

Polish National Research Center

History

Declaration of conflicts of interest

I declare no confilicts of interest

Corresponding author email

sowinski@isppan.waw.pl

Lead author country

Poland

Lead author job role

Career College Faculty

Lead author institution

Polish Academy of Science

Human Participants

No

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