An Analysis of McDuffie’s Exploration of Horne’s Thesis

Two of the key characteristics that characterize the majority of people during the Cold War were fear and hate. The felt fear of the enemy; they feared their own inability to protect themselves in the face of nuclear war. The lack of knowledge that the American people possessed lead to a distinctly overwhelming sense of fear causing people to retreat into themselves, their communities, and their countries resulting in over demonstrated nationalism. They had a very particular version in their own minds of what was considered to be “proper” and “civilized” creating a very overarching mentality that it was the idealized American versus the unknown. Those who didn’t fit the idealized American persona, like African Americans, were thrown in with the uncivilized socialists and communists. The adjacent nature of the Red Scare and fear of the Civil Rights Movement grew out of the perfectionist nature of American society at the time. McDuffie’s analysis that the Civil Rights Movement mirrored the values of the socialist movement reflects a different aspect of Cold War socialism that was not previously understood. Did Du Bois turn more towards socialist rather than capitalist ideals in his later years as a belief that socialism did truly present the means to equality?


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