moscow nights the van cliburn story how one man and his piano transformed the cold war

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Moscow Nights

Author : Nigel Cliff
ISBN : 9780062333186
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 86. 6 MB
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Gripping narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic story of a remarkable young Texan pianist, Van Cliburn, who played his way through the wall of fear built by the Cold War, won the hearts of the American and Russian people, and eased tensions between two superpowers on the brink of nuclear war. In 1958, an unheralded twenty-three-year-old piano prodigy from Texas named Van Cliburn traveled to Moscow to compete in the First International Tchaikovsky Competition. The Soviets had no intention of bestowing their coveted prize on an unknown American; a Russian pianist had already been chosen to win. Yet when the gangly Texan with the shy grin took the stage and began to play, he instantly captivated an entire nation. The Soviet people were charmed by Van Cliburn’s extraordinary talent, passion, and fresh-faced innocence, but it was his palpable love for the music that earned their devotion; for many, he played more like a Russian than their own musicians. As enraptured crowds mobbed Cliburn’s performances, pressure mounted to award him the competition prize. "Is he the best?" Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev demanded of the judges. "In that case . . . give him the prize!" Adored by millions in the USSR, Cliburn returned to a thunderous hero’s welcome in the USA and became, for a time, an ambassador of hope for two dangerously hostile superpowers. In this thrilling, impeccably researched account, Nigel Cliff recreates the drama and tension of the Cold War era, and brings into focus the gifted musician and deeply compelling figure whose music would temporarily bridge the divide between two dangerously hostile powers.

When The World Stopped To Listen

Author : Stuart Isacoff
ISBN : 9780385352192
Genre : Music
File Size : 48. 65 MB
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From the acclaimed author of A Natural History of the Piano, the captivating story of the 1958 international piano competition in Moscow, where, at the height of Cold War tensions, an American musician showed the potential of art to change the world. April of 1958--the Iron Curtain was at its heaviest, and the outcome of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition seemed preordained. Nonetheless, as star musicians from across the globe descended on Moscow, an unlikely favorite emerged: Van Cliburn, a polite, lanky Texan whose passionate virtuosity captured the Russian spirit. This is the story of what unfolded that spring--for Cliburn and the other competitors, jurors, party officials, and citizens of the world who were touched by the outcome. It is a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most remarkable events in musical history, filled with political intrigue and personal struggle as artists strove for self-expression and governments jockeyed for prestige. And, at the core of it all: the value of artistic achievement, the supremacy of the heart, and the transcendent freedom that can be found, through music, even in the darkest moments of human history.

The Van Cliburn Story

Author : Howard Reich
ISBN : 1595552286
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 54. 28 MB
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In a meteoric career that made Van Cliburn a cultural hero tantamount to the Beatles, the facts became stranger than the fiction that abounded about his career that 'fizzled a year or two after the Tchaikovsky competition, ' or about the near loss of an arm, or about his eleven-year retreat into privacy beginning in the late '70s

Holy War

Author : Nigel Cliff
ISBN : 9780061735127
Genre : History
File Size : 47. 46 MB
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A sweeping historical epic and a radical new interpretation of Vasco da Gama’s groundbreaking voyages, seen as a turning point in the struggle between Christianity and Islam In 1498 a young captain sailed from Portugal, circumnavigated Africa, crossed the Indian Ocean, and discovered the sea route to the Indies and, with it, access to the fabled wealth of the East. It was the longest voyage known to history. The little ships were pushed beyond their limits, and their crews were racked by storms and devastated by disease. However, their greatest enemy was neither nature nor even the sheer dread of venturing into unknown worlds that existed on maps populated by coiled, toothy sea monsters. With bloodred Crusader crosses emblazoned on their sails, the explorers arrived in the heart of the Muslim East at a time when the old hostilities between Christianity and Islam had risen to a new level of intensity. In two voyages that spanned six years, Vasco da Gama would fight a running sea battle that would ultimately change the fate of three continents. An epic tale of spies, intrigue, and treachery; of bravado, brinkmanship, and confused and often comical collisions between cultures encountering one another for the first time; Holy War also offers a surprising new interpretation of the broad sweep of history. Identifying Vasco da Gama’s arrival in the East as a turning point in the centuries-old struggle between Islam and Christianity—one that continues to shape our world—Holy War reveals the unexpected truth that both Vasco da Gama and his archrival, Christopher Columbus, set sail with the clear purpose of launching a Crusade whose objective was to reach the Indies; seize control of its markets in spices, silks, and precious gems from Muslim traders; and claim for Portugal or Spain, respectively, all the territories they discovered. Vasco da Gama triumphed in his mission and drew a dividing line between the Muslim and Christian eras of history—what we in the West call the medieval and the modern ages. Now that the world is once again tipping back East, Holy War offers a key to understanding age-old religious and cultural rivalries resurgent today.

Fall Out Shelters For The Human Spirit

Author : Michael L. Krenn
ISBN : 0807876410
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 82. 62 MB
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During the Cold War, culture became another weapon in America's battle against communism. Part of that effort in cultural diplomacy included a program to arrange the exhibition of hundreds of American paintings overseas. Michael L. Krenn studies the successes, failures, contradictions, and controversies that arose when the U.S. government and the American art world sought to work together to make an international art program a reality between the 1940s and the 1970s. The Department of State, then the United States Information Agency, and eventually the Smithsonian Institution directed this effort, relying heavily on the assistance of major American art organizations, museums, curators, and artists. What the government hoped to accomplish and what the art community had in mind, however, were often at odds. Intense domestic controversies resulted, particularly when the effort involved modern or abstract expressionist art. Ultimately, the exhibition of American art overseas was one of the most controversial Cold War initiatives undertaken by the United States. Krenn's investigation deepens our understanding of the cultural dimensions of America's postwar diplomacy and explores how unexpected elements of the Cold War led to a redefinition of what is, and is not, "American."

Dance For Export

Author : Naima Prevots
ISBN : 9780819573360
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 72. 13 MB
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At the height of the Cold War in 1954, President Eisenhower inaugurated a program of cultural exchange that sent American dancers and other artists to political "hot spots" overseas. This peacetime gambit by a warrior hero was a resounding success. Among the artists chosen for international duty were José Limón, who led his company on the first government-sponsored tour of South America; Martha Graham, whose famed ensemble crisscrossed southeast Asia; Alvin Ailey, whose company brought audiences to their feet throughout the South Pacific; and George Balanchine, whose New York City Ballet crowned its triumphant visits to Western Europe and Japan with an epoch-making tour of the Soviet Union in 1962. The success of Eisenhower's program of cultural export led directly to the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and Washington's Kennedy Center. Naima Prevots draws on an array of previously unexamined sources, including formerly classified State Department documents, congressional committee hearings, and the minutes of the Dance Panel, to reveal the inner workings of "Eisenhower's Program," the complex set of political, fiscal, and artistic interests that shaped it, and the ever-uneasy relationship between government and the arts in the US. CONTRIBUTORS: Eric Foner.

Stories From Texas

Author : W.F. Sdtrong
ISBN : 9781892588661
Genre :
File Size : 75. 14 MB
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Texas raconteur, professor and radio personality W.F. Strong explains Texas like no one else. Dozens of fascinating bits from Texas’ past and present are skillfully told by the Fulbright Scholar from Texas. For this book celebrating his home state, Strong has collected 75 of his NPR broadcasts. You’ll hear his inimitably Texan voice in your mind’s ear as he weaves stories on subjects ranging from how to “talk Texan” to Texas bards and troubadours; from tall Texas tales to Lone Star icons like Charles Goodnight, Tom Landry and Blue Bell ice cream; from legends and unsung heroes of the past to some heartfelt memories of his own.

Enemy Number One

Author : Rósa Magnúsdóttir
ISBN : 9780190681463
Genre : History
File Size : 53. 19 MB
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Enemy Number One tells the story of the Soviet cultural and propaganda apparatus and its efforts to control information about the United States in the postwar landscape. Beginning with the 1945 meeting of American and Soviet troops on the Elbe, this period saw cultural relations develop in close connection to oppression as the Soviet authorities attempted to contain and appropriate images of the United States. Rósa Magnúsdóttir analyzes two official narratives about the USSR's "enemy number one" --Stalin's anti-American campaign and Khrushchev's policy of peaceful coexistence--and shows how each relied on the legacy of the wartime alliance in their approach. Stalin used the wartime experience to spread fear of a renewed war, while Khrushchev used the wartime alliance as proof that the two superpowers could work together. Drawing from extensive archival resources, Magnúsdóttir brings to life the propaganda warriors and ideological chiefs of the early Cold War period in the Soviet Union, revealing their confusion and insecurities as they attempted to navigate the uncertain world of late Stalin and early Khrushchev cultural bureaucracy. She also demonstrates how concerned Soviet authorities were by their people's presumed interest in the United States, resorting to monitoring and even repression-behavior indicative of the inferiority complex of the Soviet project as it related to the outside world.

Music In America S Cold War Diplomacy

Author : Danielle Fosler-Lussier
ISBN : 9780520284135
Genre : History
File Size : 55. 97 MB
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"During the Cold War, thousands of musicians from the United States traveled the world under the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department's Cultural Presentations program. Using archival documents and newly collected oral histories, this study illuminates the reception of these musical events, for the practice of musical diplomacy on the ground sometimes differed substantially from what the department's planners envisioned. Performances of music in many styles--classical, rock 'n' roll, folk, blues, and jazz--were meant to compete with traveling Soviet and Chinese artists, enhancing the reputation of American culture. These concerts offered large audiences evidence of America's improving race relations, excellent musicianship, and generosity toward other peoples. Most important, these performances also built meaningful connections with people in other lands. Through personal contacts and the media, musical diplomacy created subtle musical, social, and political relationships on a global scale. Although these tours were sometimes conceived as propaganda ventures, their most important function was the building of imagined and real relationships, which constitute the essence of soft power"--Provided by publisher.

The Shakespeare Riots

Author : Nigel Cliff
ISBN : 0307497836
Genre : History
File Size : 22. 89 MB
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One of the bloodiest incidents in New York’s history, the so-called Astor Place Riot of May 10, 1849, was ignited by a long-simmering grudge match between the two leading Shakespearean actors of the age. Despite its unlikely origins, though, there was nothing remotely quaint about this pivotal moment in history–the unprecedented shooting by American soldiers of dozens of their fellow citizens, leading directly to the arming of American police forces. The Shakespeare Riots recounts the story of this momentous night, its two larger-than-life protagonists, and the myriad political and cultural currents that fueled the violence. In an engrossing narrative that moves at a breakneck pace from the American frontier to the Mississippi River, to the posh theaters of London, to the hangouts of the most notorious street gangs of the day, Nigel Cliff weaves a spellbinding saga of soaring passions, huge egos, and venal corruption. Cliff charts the course of this tragedy from its beginnings as a somewhat comical contretemps between Englishman William Charles Macready, the haughty lion of the London stage, and Edwin Forrest, the first great American star and a popular hero to millions. Equally celebrated, and equally self-centered, the two were once friends, then adversaries. Exploiting this rivalry, “nativist” agitators organized mobs of bullyboys to flex their muscle by striking a blow against the foppish Macready and the Old World’s cultural hegemony that he represented. The moment Macready took the stage in New York, his adversaries sprang into action, first by throwing insults, then rotten eggs, then chairs. When he dared show his face again, an estimated twenty thousand packed the streets around the theater. As cobblestones from outside rained down on the audience, National Guard troops were called in to quell the riot. Finding themselves outmatched, the Guardsmen discharged their weapons at the crowd, with horrific results. When the smoke cleared, as many as thirty people lay dead, with scores more wounded. The Shakespeare Riots is social and cultural history of the highest order. In this wondrous saga Nigel Cliff immerses readers in the bustle of mid-nineteenth-century New York, re-creating the celebrity demimonde of the day and capturing all the high drama of a violent night that robbed a nation of its innocence. From the Hardcover edition.

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