The British Popular Press and the Early Cold War

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Britain's role during the early years of the cold war has come under intense scrutiny in the past decade. As a result, it is now known that London rather than Washington played the leading part in forcing the pace towards confrontation with the Soviet Union in the late 1940s. However, relatively little is known still about the British public's reaction to this policy. By examining arguably the chief public opinion former during this period, the ‘popular’ press, this paper hopes to shed new light on the roots and development of cold war values in Britain. The attitudes of the main newspapers to certain key events overseas between 1945 and 1949 are outlined, as is the relationship between Attlee's Labour government and the press in relation to foreign affairs. Ultimately, the chief purpose of the article is to assess the part played by the ‘popular’ press in the emergence, or orchestration, of a cold war ‘consensus’ in Britain by the beginning of the 1950s
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-85
Number of pages20
Issue number269
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


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