Berlin im Kalten Krieg by Thomas Flemming

By Thomas Flemming

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NATO had been established after World War II to prevent Berlin-type crises from getting out of hand. It proved useless in 1961, McNamara believed. In keeping with the “new directions” focus of the Kennedy administration, the defense secretary said it was time for innovative strategies to keep the peace. But McNamara’s recommendation equaled something of the cold war heresy. Throughout the 1950s, both American political and military leaders assumed that, given the huge Red Army scattered across Eastern Europe, any war on the European continent would have to be resolved through a nuclear strike by the outnumbered NATO allies.

Chubby Checker gave rock-and-roll its first great dance, but that was not without controversy. Some parents and music critics regarded the twist as overly provocative, sensual, and, perhaps, even decadent. After all, America’s example of classy refinement, the Kennedys, did not twist. At least not right away. When First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was seen doing the twist at a White House gathering of the rich and famous, even more Americans gave the dance a try. Nevertheless, the controversy continued.

Some parents and music critics regarded the twist as overly provocative, sensual, and, perhaps, even decadent. After all, America’s example of classy refinement, the Kennedys, did not twist. At least not right away. When First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was seen doing the twist at a White House gathering of the rich and famous, even more Americans gave the dance a try. Nevertheless, the controversy continued. Most of the complainers were white, implying a certain racist disgust for the latest influence The twist was a spontaneous dance craze.

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