The British Press and the Coming of the Cold War
Much attention has been paid over the years by political historians to the relationship between the British press and British foreign policy in the thirties, in particular to the support offered by The Times in those years for the official policy of the appeasement of Nazi Germany.1 Much less attention has been paid to the role of the press in attempting to influence opinion and policy towards another supposedly expansionist power — Soviet Russia — in the following decade, as the Second World War gave way to the cold war. Yet in this latter period a considerable section of the British press was much less suspicious of the Soviet Union’s ultimate intentions in Europe than HMG had grown to be. These newspapers looked, in particular, with great sympathy on the Soviet Union’s security aspirations in eastern Europe. This led to a remarkably uncensorious attitude on their part as the evidence mounted that Soviet Russia intended to make itself master of postwar eastern Europe. This attitude in itself is perhaps not too surprising when found in the pages of the ‘progressive’ press,2 given Russia’s contribution to the war, and a certain degree of ideological affinity on that press’s part with the ultimate aspirations of Soviet socialism if not with its methods.
KeywordsForeign Policy Royal Commission Western Power Eastern EUROPE British Policy
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