The Use of Sports to Promote the American Way of Life During the Cold War: Cultural Propaganda, 1945-1963

Author: Crawford, Russ
This work investigates the use of sport in the first two decades of the Cold War to resist Communism by strengthening the American Way of Life. Each of the Cold War’s key players used athletics as a means of advancing political ideologies. The book also evaluates the gains and losses of minorities in this era.


“[The author] brings to life the important and mostly hitherto untold history of how Americans enlisted sports on behalf of the war against postwar communism. . . . Here, you will find a well-written, perceptive, and authoritative account of a largely forgotten but also significant aspect of the nation’s history.” – Benjamin G. Rader, Department of History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“. . . Crawford illustrates how sport served as a crucial means through which the United States in general and dominant political, economic, and social institutions of the United States during the Cold War were aligned with morality and virtue, especially as they were represented in opposition to the institutions of the Soviet Union and other Communist countries.” - Dr. Raymond Schuck, Instructor, Department of Interpersonal Communication, Bowling Green State University

“The book is intriguing since it demonstrates how sports appeared in idealized versions of the American Way of Life. Leave it to Beaver and I, Spy serve as prime examples of the victory of the capitalist way.” - Ed Wood, Assistant Professor of History, Glenville State College

Table of Contents

Foreword: Ben Rader, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Introduction: Sport and the Cold War
1. Sport and the American Way of Life
2. Molding America’s Youth
3. Chip Hilton, Cold Warrior
4. Rehabilitating the American Way: The NCAA and the Myth of Purity
5. Predicting Loyalty: Sport, the American Way, and Their Opponents
6. Opportunities Gained: African-Americans and the American Way of Life
7. Opportunities Lost: Women and the American Way of Life
Epilogue: Bringing it All Together