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Cold War CaptivesImprisonment, Escape, and Brainwashing$
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Susan Carruthers

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257306

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257306.001.0001

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Returns and Repercussions

Returns and Repercussions

(p.217) Epilogue Returns and Repercussions
Cold War Captives

Susan L. Carruthers

University of California Press

The disappointments and frustrations experienced by once-celebrated captives, defectors, and escapees attracted little public comment. Nothing merited such attention as the moment of decision when individuals chose—or rejected—“freedom.” For these fleetingly lionized individuals, both the brevity and the selectivity of public attention were themselves sources of embitterment. Numerous individuals and organizations pounced with alacrity on stories of communist captivity and escape, stamping them with ideologically congenial meanings. But few tried to help their human subjects wrestle with difficult life adjustments or narrate their experiences in ways that might complicate the crude anticommunism that passed as the moral of these stories. While these Cold War captivities diffused into America's cultural bloodstream, the individuals themselves sank into what was often a troubled obscurity.

Keywords:   Cold War, captives, defectors, escapees, adjustment, captivity

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