“American Dream – Soviet Reality”: Industrialization and Environmentalism in Soviet Cold War Public Diplomacy

In: Diplomatica
Mariia KoskinaHistory Department, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, USA,

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Expo ’67 in Montreal and Expo ’74 in Spokane took strikingly different stances regarding human-nature relations. The title of the first was “Man and His World.” Here, the Soviet pavilion exhibited the Krasnoyarsk Dam to showcase its conquest of nature. The exploitation of “idle” Siberian resources, like hydro-energy, was bound to fulfill the promise to “catch and overtake” the United States. Yet, the global environmental awakening of the 1960s added a “green race” to existing Cold War races and propelled environmental cooperation. Spokane’s Expo became the first environmental world's fair with the motto “Progress without Pollution.” Now, the ussr exhibited the Krasnoyarsk Dam as an inseparable part of the landscape and the new “green” socialist settlements to demonstrate the industry’s harmony with nature. An envoy for Soviet environmentalism, the display was responsive both to raising global concerns and to the detrimental environmental consequences of industrialization on the ground in Siberia.

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