Emotional Relations in the Early Cold War: Power, Politics, and the French Gratitude Train to Americans, 1948-49

Broch, L. 2024. Emotional Relations in the Early Cold War: Power, Politics, and the French Gratitude Train to Americans, 1948-49. Contemporary European History. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0960777324000249

TitleEmotional Relations in the Early Cold War: Power, Politics, and the French Gratitude Train to Americans, 1948-49
TypeJournal article
AuthorsBroch, L.
Abstract

The early Cold War was a time of deep political, economic and social rifts; but nations also harboured an array of complicated emotional relations. This article argues that practices of gratitude were an especially important, if not necessary, emotional performance of the mid-twentieth century. Through the story of the French Gratitude Train to the American People in 1948-49, it brings the diplomacy of gratitude to the heart of the post-war years, reflecting on the complicated relations between France and the United States, but also on the ability of emotional relations to re-shape post-war dynamics. Gratitude held a deeply important moral as well as political place in post-war relations, but the performances of thanks also served to nuance established ideas of transatlantic power dynamics in the new ‘American Century’. Above all, the Gratitude Train highlights the importance of ordinary citizens, material culture and feelings in the ideological battles of the twentieth century.

KeywordsFrance
United States
post-war
world war
memory
history of emotions
Cold War
JournalContemporary European History
Year2024
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S0960777324000249

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