In this fascinating history of Cold War cartography,
Timothy Barney considers maps as central to the articulation of ideological
tensions between American national interests and international aspirations.
Barney argues that the borders, scales, projections, and other conventions of
maps prescribed and constrained the means by which foreign policy elites,
popular audiences, and social activists navigated conflicts between north and south,
east and west. Maps also influenced how identities were formed in a world both
shrunk by advancing technologies and marked by expanding and shifting
geopolitical alliances and fissures. Pointing to the necessity of how politics
and values were “spatialized” in recent US history, Barney argues that Cold War–era
maps themselves had rhetorical lives that began with their conception and
production and played out in their circulation within foreign policy circles
and popular media.
Reflecting on the ramifications of spatial power
during the period, Mapping the Cold War
ultimately demonstrates that even in the twenty-first century, American visions
of the world—and the maps that account for them—are inescapably rooted in the
anxieties of that earlier era. Download and start listening now!