Fields of Interest:
Recent American history; Cold War culture
In my new book, How We Forgot The Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America (University of California Press, 2012), I report on visits to Cold War monuments, museums, and memorials to find out how the era is being remembered. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990-91, Democrats joined Republicans in launching an initiative to define those events as a victory comparable to the defeat of fascism — the defeat of the totalitarian enemy by the forces of freedom. This effort to shape public memory of the Cold War deployed powerful tools of political and cultural persuasion, seeking to establish museums and create monuments and identify historic sites at which the public could be told that the Cold War was, like World War II, a good war. The striking fact about this immense effort to shape public
memory is that it failed. The monuments weren't built, the official sites have few visitors, and many of the museums have now shifted their focus to other topics. In the book I sort out the range of responses to Cold War commemoration, ranging from apathy to skepticism to resistance.
» Information about the John Lennon-FBI files
» Information about “The 4 O’Clock Report” on KPFK 90.7 FM: www.JonWiener.com
» How We Forgot The Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America (University of California Press, 2012).
» Big Tobacco and the Historians. The Nation, March 15, 2010.
» Out of the Depths: A Weather Underground Memoir. Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 29, 2009.
» “America, Through a Glass Darkly” (on Richard Hofstadter). The Nation, Oct. 23. 2006, pp. 36-40.
» Conspiracy in the Streets: The Extraordinary Trial of the Chicago Eight. Edited with an introduction by Jon Wiener; afterword by Tom Hayden; drawings by Jules Feiffer. New York: The New Press, August 2006.
» Historians in Trouble: Plagiarism, Fraud and Power in the Ivory Tower (New York: New Press, 2005)
» Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI File (University of California Press, 2000)
» Professors, Politics and Pop (London and New York: Verso Books, 1994)
» “Civil War, Cold War, Civil Rights: The Civil War Centennial in Context, 1960-1965.” in Alice Fahs and Joan Waugh, eds., Civil War Memory. (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2004.)
» "Pop and Avant-Garde: The Case of John and Yoko." Popular Music and Society 22.1 (1998), 1-18.
» "Thinking in Public." American Literary History 10.1 (1998), 77-83.
» "Radical Historians and the Crisis in American History, 1959-1980," Journal of American History 76 (1989), 399-434; "Rejoinder," 475-78.
» "The Responsibilities of Friendship: Jacques Derrida on Paul de Man's Collaboration." Critical Inquiry 14 (1989), 797-803.