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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

Oxford Handbooks Online


Locating The Transnational in the Cold War  
Penny Von Eschen
The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War
Edited by Richard H. Immerman and Petra Goedde

Print Publication Date: Jan 2013 Subject: History, Cold War, International History
Online Publication Date: Jan 2013 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199236961.013.0026

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the role of the transnational in the Cold War. It suggests that Cold
War transnationalism must be considered as a highly specific political and ideological
formation, and analyzes transnational projects such as those reflected in the
memorialization film of actor Bruce Lee and Congolese political leader Patrice Lumumba.
The chapter contends that attention to transnational movements and formations raises
fundamental questions about who should tell the story of the Cold War and comments on
Kamila Shamsie's critically acclaimed 2009 book Burnt Shadows. It also shows that
interconnectedness of the Cold War with national and transnational histories that
predated the particular policies/crises of the Cold War.

Keywords: transnationals, Cold War, ideological formation, Cold War transnationalism, Bruce Lee, Patrice
Lumumba, Kamila Shamsie, Burnt Shadows

In November 2005 the first monument to martial arts expert and film star Bruce Lee was
unveiled in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina (a second monument was displayed in Hong Kong
a day later). Honoring Lee as a symbol of “loyalty, skill, justice, and friendship,” the
organizers also intended the life-sized bronze statue “as a rebuke to the ongoing use of
public spaces to glorify the country's competing nationalisms.” In a city that had been
divided over identities and boundaries and had been torn apart in the 1992–3 war that
largely destroyed the 15th and 16th century Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) west side, it was
critical to the monument's planners that Lee was neither Serb, nor Croatian, nor Muslim,
and that his statue faced north, favoring neither East nor West.

Moreover, the organizers explained, Bruce Lee, who had emerged as a transnational
screen icon of anti-imperialism in the 1970s, fighting European and Asian colonizers
alike, reminded them of the hope of their childhood. For young audiences across the
globe, from Mostar, to Los Angeles, Zagreb, Bombay, and Hong Kong, Lee embodied a
vision of a future free from poverty and political repression, and the armed conflict that

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

raged through the Asian, African, and Central American continents during the era we still
refer to, perhaps inescapably for our generation, as the “cold war.” Sadly, a mere statue
of the famed martial artist was hardly a deterrent for vandals. Within hours after the
dedication, desecrators stole the nunchucks and defaced the statue. The statue was
quickly removed and stored for repair.1

As I read reports of Lee monuments in 2005, I recalled a conversation a decade earlier


with a colleague from Budapest. As we discussed the triumphalism that dominated
western accounts of the end of the cold war, he grew nostalgic for the camaraderie of
drinking with friends on Budapest's Lumumba Street. That street, of course, enshrined
the memory of Patrice Lumumba, post-independence Prime Minister of the short-lived
republic of the Congo, assassinated by Belgian authorities with CIA complicity in 1961.
(p. 452) Despite his limited prospects and frustrations under Hungarian communism,

nonetheless my colleague mourned a vanished world of anti-imperialism and hopes of


global justice that had always seemed larger than his own circumstances. Lumumba
Street, he explained, no longer existed. It had been renamed after the fall of the socialist
government, when practically overnight streets commemorating revolutionary icons were
rechristened after monarchs and elites. Friends had trouble meeting each other because
they didn’t know the names of familiar streets. In time, I would discover that Budapest's
Lumumba Street had been renamed Rona Utca. There had been dozens of Lumumba
Streets in cities throughout the former eastern bloc. Most no longer exist: as in Budapest
they were renamed after the fall of the communist regimes. The contested legacies of Lee
and Lumumba reveal an ongoing struggle over cold war memory. The incarnation of Lee
and the erasure of Lumumba as global symbols attest to the power as well as the fragility
of the transnational projects and aspirations of the cold war era.

In this essay, I take up three central and related issues. First, to address my specific
charge to consider ways in which transnational actors and groups permeated the East-
West divide, I argue that we must first consider cold war transnationalism as a highly
specific political and ideological formation. Much of the recent scholarly discussion on
transnationalism has focused on analytic and methodological questions, but to begin to
grasp the promise and fragility of transnational formations in the cold war era, it is
imperative that one does not conflate transnationalism as methodology and analytic
category with transnationalism as political, material, and ideological formations. Only by
considering cold war transnationalism as a historically specific political and ideologic-al
formation can we grasp the frame of the possible, as well as the limitations of such
transnational projects as those reflected in the Bruce Lee and Patrice Lumumba
examples.2 Following Prasenjit Duara's essay in this volume on nation/empire and the
cold war, I suggest that these projects were triangulated with the dominant structures of
nations and empires on the one hand, and the universalizing aspirations of the
superpowers on the other. Indeed, transnationalism could only have achieved its
centrality during the cold war because these projects laid bare and mediated between the

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

core contradictions and tensions of the era, as the cold war's superpowers, each with
considerable imperial baggage, sought to legitimize universalizing projects.

Cold war era transnational projects generated sites for political negotiation and leverage
in conditions of extraordinarily unequal global power relations amidst war, shifting
empires, and decolonization. I will discuss a range of transnational formations,
attempting to account for the ubiquity and power of these formations. In doing so, I
explore a realm of what Svetlana Boym has called “critical nostalgia,” a theme that has
emerged in the burgeoning literature on cold war memory as an expression of loss: not
necessarily for a particular political formation of the cold war, but for a sense of vanished
hope itself.3 As suggested above, far from a simple celebration of transnationalism as an
alternative to cold war formations, I emphasize the contradictions and conundrums of
cold war transnationalism. Throughout the cold war era, multiple transnational actors
challenged, but also intersected with, the projects of states, including cold war
superpowers. Both western and eastern bloc states advocated and sponsored extensive
transnational (p. 453) projects. The socialist bloc sponsored a host of aid projects, labor
and international peace and friendship conferences, and financed cultural diplomacy and
anti-imperialist projects. The US sponsored transnational networks of modernization and
development, and related educational, cultural, and religious projects; taken together
these were rich sites of political formation for the arena of transnational anti-communism.
To understand the significance of transnational actors during the cold war, and the
fragility as well as the power of transnational formations, we need to delve into
possibilities enabled by this moment.

Second, I suggest that attention to transnational formations as well as the movement of


peoples across nations and multiple histories illuminates this volume's concern to show
the interconnectedness of the cold war with national and transnational histories that
predated the particular policies/crises of the cold war. The cold war recast some of the
transnational networks that predated it, including evangelical Christianity and a range of
missionary projects as well as transnational circuits in the performing arts. The cold war
also resituated a range of consumer commodities, long circulated in far-flung circuits of
exchange, as not simply the mechanisms or conditions for power, but as the very face of
state power, as shown in such examples as blue jeans and plastics, in what Eli Rubin has
called “synthetic socialism.”4

Cold war remappings of the trajectories of anti-colonial movements stretched to nearly


every part of the globe. From 1945 onward, the violent imposition of cold war
geographies on colonial and decolonizing landscapes produced multiple wars and a
massive displacement of people who were then forced to imagine a global political
landscape where they would be visible—legible in the emerging international order as
peoples with rights—and safe. From the arbitrary division of Korea at the 38th parallel on
the night of August 10–11 in 1945; to the brokering of US administrative control of the
Pacific Trust Territories and newly drawn Italy/Yugoslavian borders; through the division
of Vietnam at the 13th parallel at the 1954 Geneva conventions and the securing by Jan
Smuts of effective control of Southwest Africa at the United Nations, borders redrawn in

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

the murky transition from World War II to the cold war generated an explosion of global
anti-colonial and non-aligned as well as transnational anti-communist projects that
dominated international politics for years to come.5 For a global non-aligned movement,
transnational alliances heralded a potent challenge to the prerogatives of superpowers.
Here, I will consider the example of the intersection between transnational protests that
followed Lumumba's death and non-alignment.

Third, I suggest that attention to transnational movements and formations raises


fundamental questions about the archive of the cold war. Who gets to tell the story of the
cold war? Emphasizing the limits of state archives for telling the story of the cold war and
as a frame for following transnational actors under the radars of states, I turn to Kamila
Shamsie's critically acclaimed 2009 Burnt Shadows. This work of historical fiction begins
with the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki, and follows an arc through 1947 Delhi at the
moment of partition, to CIA infused Pakistan, and finally to Afghanistan, New York City,
and by implication Guantanamo. Probing intersections between cold war policies and
historical trajectories of decolonization once viewed as independent of the cold war,
(p. 454) Shamsie further illuminates the emergence of what we might view as “blowback”

transnationalism, calling attention to two of the most powerful transnational formations


spawned by the cold war: al-Qaeda on the one hand, and a vast network of mercenaries
and private military corporations made up primarily of former national security and
intelligence officers from every part of the globe on the other.6 Yet, as I argue in
concluding reflections on the afterlife of cold war transnationalism and the significance of
contemporary commemorations of Patrice Lumumba, the transnational remains a
powerful dream space, a space for imaging alternatives to the present precisely because
it beckons past current formations of power, and the states and nations that have so badly
failed the people they purport to represent and protect.

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

The historical moment: nation, empire, and


transnation
Scholars, including historians Ronald Suny, Terry Martin, Odd Arne Westad, and the
philosopher Susan Buck-Morss, have reminded us of how deeply and fundamentally
problems of nationalism and empire were woven into the very fabric of the cold war. To
appreciate the power and ubiquity of transnational formations as well as the conundrums
of the transnational in the cold war era, it is necessary to revisit the World War I-era
formulations of Leninist and Wilsonian transnationalism. Indeed, tensions between
nations, empires, and new global formations had forcefully emerged much earlier. From
the age of European, American, Haitian, and Latin revolutions on the cusp of the 18th and
19th centuries, and cascading throughout the 19th century in anti-slavery, workers’, and
women's movements, new media and circuits of exchange enabled and emboldened
global narratives. Here I take a page from earlier diplomatic historians as well as global
historians and recent scholarship on the Soviet Union to revisit the ways in which the
internationalism of the early Soviet and Wilsonian systems developed in relation to one
another. To borrow a phrase from Carol Gluck and Anna Tsing, we might speak of a
“global lexicon” of the cold war shaped by a shared vision of the good life for the masses
and shared languages of egalitarianism, democracy, and modernization.7

The philosopher Buck-Morss and the historian Westad have asked us to consider the
shared assumptions and discursive worlds of the 20th century across the cold war divide.
Buck-Morss argues that the dream of mass utopia defines the 20th century: both
capitalist and socialist forms of industrial modernity were characterized by a “collective
dream that dared to imagine social world in alliance with personal happiness.”8 Her
emphasis on the ubiquity of utopian visions is critical to understanding the abiding allure
of the transnational movements and icons of the cold war era, as well as the era's
unexpected and often fragile alliances. Indeed, what we might think of as the equally
outlandish promises and betrayals of communism and capitalism, along with the jarring
experience of the celebration and violations of ideals, set the stage for interconnections
and (p. 455) alliances between those with similar aspirations and grievances that
characterized many transnational movements.

Like Buck-Morss, Westad frames the US and Soviet projects as competing universalizing
responses to the break-up of older empires and colonialism: both wrestling with their own
legacies of empire.9 In World War I, with the collapse of the Romanov (tsarist Russia),
Habsburg, and Ottoman empires, the Bolsheviks inherited an empire in which over
seventy ethnic groups spreading from Norwegian to Korean borders outnumbered
Russians. Likewise, for Westad, the “origins of American interventions in the Third-
World” are consonant with the very origins of the American state, from continental
westward expansion, slavery, and colonial conflict with Native Americans, to the late 19th
century occupation and annexation of Hawaii and turn of the century interventions and

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

occupations of the Philippines and Cuba. Moreover, Westad adds, Africa had been at the
heart of US policies both at home and abroad for the first hundred years.

In the case of the Soviet Union, recent scholarship has demonstrated the breadth and
depth of the Bolshevik project of cultivating forms of ethno-nations as a counter to
statehood. Historians Ronald Suny and Terry Martin noted the crowning irony of Soviet
history: A “radical socialist elite that proclaimed an internationalist agenda that was to
transcend the bourgeois nationalist phase of history in fact ended up by institutionalizing
nations within its own political body.”10 Lenin viewed nationalism as dangerous because it
could promote cross-class alliances, or in the 1918 words of Stalin: “the national flag is
sewn on only to deceive the masses, a cover-up for the counter-revolutionary plans of the
bourgeois.”11

Despite their deep suspicion of nationalism, Lenin and Stalin adopted wildly ambitious
ethno-nationalist projects. On the rationale that with modernization class divisions would
naturally emerge which would allow the Soviet State to recruit proletarian and peasant
support for the socialist project, in the 1920s the Soviets sponsored programs that at
their most far-reaching involved not only the creation of ethnically specific cultural
institutions from the opera to the press, but also the creation of written languages where
none had previously existed.12 This wishful belief in an evolution from nationalism to
socialism might be compared to Wilsonianism and the US post-1945 foreign policy
premise that democracy must yield to the needs of capitalism, because democracy will
naturally emerge from capitalism. Such logic seemed to justify the overthrow of
democracies in the short run. Indeed, Westad and Buck-Morss are astute in their
recognition of the structural contradiction in both the US and Soviet systems as the
avowed universalist ideologies of each came up against national interests and imperial
entanglements.

Western tensions between local, national, and transnational projects also had antecedents
in World War I. Wilson asserted his vision of internationalism in 1917, when he
championed the right of self-determination as the central principle of legitimacy in the
new international order and defined the self-determining nation state as the sole
legitimate entity in international relations. Wilson presented his Fourteen Points,
foremost among which was self-determination, as a response to the Bolshevik revolution
and Lenin's call for worldwide anti-imperialism. As Wilson advocated national (p. 456)
self-determination as an alternative to class conflict, in what Erez Manela has elegantly
described as the “Wilsonian Moment,” Afro-Asian colonial nationalists appropriated and
interpreted the principle as a challenge to imperialism in international relations that
required the recognition of the equality and sovereignty of hitherto “dependent”
peoples.13

The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 became a focal point for anti-colonial aspirations.
These anti-colonial activists quickly became disillusioned by Wilson and turned to the
more vigorous support of Lenin, buoyed by the Communist International, founded in 1919
to promote world revolution. Wilson's failure notwithstanding, the stage had been set for

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

a vigorous nation-building anti-communism that would be mobilized on behalf of anti-


communist regimes in the post-1945 era. And more significantly in the short term, the
left-inflected independence movements of the mid-20th century were bitterly opposed by
an increasingly US dominated western bloc. While the Wilsonian vision proposed a world
of nations modeled after US institutions, transnational aspirations were fundamental in
both blocs.

Transnational projects that were in varying degrees related to identifiable ideological


blocs in the cold war existed alongside and sometimes intersected with other
transnational initiatives. In the case of Soviet bloc transnationalism, it is tempting to
cynically dismiss the obvious failings of the Comintern and Soviet internationalism; Stalin
obviously withdrew support for communist movements during and after World War II. As
Westad observes in reference to Korea in particular and postwar intervention generally,
“It was as if Stalin, having started up the ladder to socialism in one country, was
deliberately kicking away the ladder for others to follow.”14

But the opportunities afforded and relationships forged through the extensive Soviet
international infrastructure of aid and solidarity organizations developed over the
decades of the cold war can no more be reduced to crude projections of Soviet power
than the US jazz ambassadors, of whom I have written elsewhere, can be reduced to
agents of US im-perialism.15 One of the more striking examples of this can be seen in the
Soviet support for South Africa's African National Congress. In 1953, well before the
Soviet Union through Communist Party channels returned to a vigorous support of anti-
imperialist movements with Khrushchev, Walter Sisulu traveled to London, Eastern
Europe, and Moscow, holding meetings with any Africans present in an attempt to
organize a Pan-African meeting on the continent of Africa.16 After the Soviet rediscovery
of the Third World (1955–60), Soviet sponsorship of conferences, camps, and global anti-
imperialism projects expanded, with a flurry of activities sponsored by the Soviet Afro-
Asian Solidarity Committee (founded in 1956); along with the World Federation of Trade
Unions (WFTU), the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), created in London in
1945 by Communist youth groups; the Women's International Democratic Federation
(1945); and the World Peace Council (WPC), created in 1949.

The fragility of the alliances enabled by these organizations, as they rapidly vanished
after 1991, is striking. But does that necessarily imply that these expressions were
superficial, artificially manufactured, and propped up by the state? Perhaps in some
cases, but recent studies by historians and anthropologists working on the former Soviet
bloc (p. 457) suggest otherwise. Their scholarship recovers the socialist idealism shared
by many citizens of the Soviet Union and eastern bloc countries. As the anthropologist
Alexei Yurchak argues: “What tends to get lost . . . is the crucial and seemingly paradoxical
fact that, for great numbers of Soviet citizens, many of the fundamental values, ideals,
and realities of socialist life (such as equality, community, selflessness, altruism,
friendship, ethical relations, safety, work, creativity, and concern for the future) were of
genuine importance, despite the fact that many of their everyday practices transgressed,

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

reinterpreted, or refused certain norms and rules expressed in the official ideology of the
socialist state.”17

Indeed, like perestroika and glasnost, the 1989 revolutions took hold as movements to
reform socialism, for “socialism with a human face,” not for capitalism. And as the Mostar
monument to Bruce Lee attests, anti-imperial liberation for the world's colonized peoples
was part and parcel of that vision. Yurchak argues further that: “An undeniable
constitutive part of today's phenomenon of ‘post-Soviet nostalgia,’ which is a complex
post-Soviet construct, is the longing for the very real humane values, ethics, friendships,
and creative possibilities that socialism afforded—often in spite of the state's proclaimed
goals—and that were as irreducibly part of the everyday life of socialism as were the
feelings of dullness and alienation.”18 Thus, we might suggest that the rapid collapse of
transnational solidarity networks after the collapse of the eastern bloc states had less to
do with cynicism than the fact that solidarities previously enabled through state
mechanisms simply had no routes of circulation after the state collapsed. Though
dependent on state infrastructures, such solidarities were not defined by them.

While the US had no counterpart to the Cominform, scholars have traced what we might
think of as a complex transnational anti-communism, an area at the forefront of new
developments in cold war historiography. Extensive US covert support for intellectual and
cultural institutions, and US sponsored research by social scientists, educators, and the
private sector in US modernization projects, buttressed but also stretched beyond US
support for anti-communist regimes. Building on initial projects in the western
hemisphere and the colonial Philippines, such networks fanned out through postwar
occupations and military bases in a burgeoning global anti-communist network.19

Transforming transnational circuits

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

Melani McAlister argues that during the cold war, Christian evangelicals recast the story
of missionaries as symbols of altruistic sacrifice. In seeking to combat Godless
communism, missionaries were now participating in the same kind of martyrdom as that
undergone by the early Christians. An international evangelicalism cast as the “suffering
church vs. communism” thrived in the cold war era through newspaper accounts and
popular culture media in concert with “the occasional congressional hearing” such as a
1959 meeting of the House on Un-American Activities Committee with ministers from
China and Korea. Later, as McAlister demonstrates, the Romanian Jewish convert
(p. 458) Richard Wurmbrand, in his 1967 Tortured for Christ, and the organization Voice

of Martyrs, married “the iconography of Christian martyrdom to the larger project of


universal rights.”20 Along with the Catholic Marians, with practices and theology based
on veneration of the Virgin Mary, and who drew on Polish, Russian, and Lithuanian
Marian exiles to fan out through Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America during the
cold war, these state-supported non-state actors recast the language and aims of
Christianity in cold war terms. Historians have long recognized the evangelical Protestant
language of the cold war—depicted as a spiritual battle between good and evil—but along
with Dianne Kirby's essay in this volume, the historian Axel R. Schäfer further explores
the deep entanglements of Protestantism and the cold war state's subsidization of
churches. “The [US] federal government's efforts to strengthen the anti-communist
training of army recruits, support for the military chaplaincy and evangelical campaigns,
and the promotion of church building on military sites were decisive factors in furthering
the evangelicals and establishing contacts between church and state.”21

Schäfer's important exploration of “the public/private networks that underlay US Cold


War state building” exemplifies new scholarship on the cold war that unsettles the
categories of state and non-state actors as it uncovers hitherto unexplored reaches of the
state.22 In the case of evangelical projects, their major protagonists were neither defined
by nor direct agents of US anti-communism; nor were they independent. Indeed, we need
to consider state, non-state, and transnational formations and actors as intersecting and
rarely, if ever, entirely independent entities.

Given the intersection of state and non-state actors, it is hardly surprising that state-
sponsored transnational projects often yielded unexpected consequences, as seen in the
case of cultural diplomacy. After World War II the United States and the Soviet Union
competed for the political allegiances and resources of peoples emerging from decades of
colonialism. The superpowers joined such countries as Mexico and France that had long
made the promotion and export of their arts a central part of their diplomacy. While the
Soviets sent classical orchestras and ballet companies across the world, and also
promoted folk cultural expressions, the United States responded with modern performing
arts, sending such jazz musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington,
and Dave Brubeck, and such dancers and choreographers as Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey,
Paul Taylor, and Jose Limon, on world tours. Not to be outdone by Soviet sponsorship of
classical music, Washington also sent classical orchestras, often to entertain elites in pro-
western Latin American dictatorships. If jazz was the pet project of the State Department,
based on that form's salience for promoting a racially integrated American modernism,
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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

state sponsorship had perhaps the most significant impact on the dance world; the
fortunes of the companies of Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey became inextricably bound
with their State Department sponsorship. These international tours brought artists to
places that often would not have been commercially profitable or logistically viable.

Yet, such sponsorship had unintended consequences. In the case of jazz and the US State
Department, musicians brought their own agendas, promoting civil rights, black
militancy, and challenging State Department priorities. Moreover, their desire to (p. 459)
connect with musicians in other countries and to learn new musical styles accentuated a
globalization of popular music that belied the purported distinctiveness of national
cultures promoted by state sponsorship in this era. Indeed, scholars have pointed to the
importance of transnational performance in challenging the authority of colonial powers,
as transnational cultural exchanges provided a source of alternative cultural capital for
all parties involved.

Non-aligned and anti-colonial transnationalism

Decolonization and non-alignment have been explored at length by scholars and are
treated elsewhere in this volume, but it is impossible to account for the power and
ubiquity of transnationalism without placing these dynamics at the center.23 Non-aligned
movements defied cold war blocs, and anti-colonial movements were at odds with the
superpowers, including the Soviet Union and China, far more than is commonly
acknowledged. But they also intersected with superpower interests. The consistently
socialist-leaning character of the non-alignment movements and the strength of the
global/transnational anti-imperialism of the 1960s and 1970s can in part be understood
by US responses to non-aligned positions from the late 1940s through the 1960s.

US officials were contemptuous of the non-aligned politics advocated by Jawaharlal


Nehru in India, Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt (and the short-lived United Arab Republic),
and Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana.24 From the time that Truman and Stalin declared cold
war on one another in 1946 and 1947, nations around the globe announced with growing
frequency that they would not be subjugated by either the West or the East and declared
their intentions to be neutral, “non-aligned states,” forming their own “Third World.”
Even before India's independence, Nehru held an Asian Relations Conference in Delhi in
March of 1947. Coinciding with the announcement of the Truman Doctrine, the
conference addressed general concerns of the decolonizing world, but was followed up by
another conference responding to Dutch attempts in 1948 to re-colonize Indonesia. This
later conference also passed resolutions on World Peace and dangers of nuclear weapons.
US hostility toward India and non-alignment crystallized during the Korean War, when the
US chafed at India's refusal to acquiesce to US directives. Krishna Menon, the Indian
representative to the United Nation, was elected chairman of the UN Commission on
Korea in 1947 and appealed to the great powers to let Korea be united. When North
Korea invaded the South in 1950, Korea joined the US in the UN Security Council in

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

condemning North Korea as the aggressor and calling for a ceasefire; but India infuriated
US officials by abstaining from another resolution calling for assistance to South Korea
and the establishment of a united command.25

In 1954 when the United States established the anti-communist Southeast Asian Treaty
Organization (SEATO) and sought to include all the states in the region, India, Burma,
Ceylon, and Indonesia resisted and asserted their resolve to remain “neutral” in the cold
war.26 The 1954 Asian Leaders Conference in Colombo was followed by the gathering of
Asian and African nations in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. The West, as Paul (p. 460)
Gordon Lauren has observed, reacted with “silence, vacillation, or opposition.” US
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles condemned the meeting as “an obsolete, immoral,
and short-sighted conception.”27 As the insistence on independence from superpowers
and the promotion of the interests of decolonizing countries drew the ire of the western
bloc, such non-aligned efforts drew critical attention and inspired a generation of
worldwide communities of intellectuals of African and Asian descent. In addition to
political forums, artists and writers gathered in such venues as the 1956 First World
Congress of Negro Writers and Artists in Paris, which brought together African,
Caribbean, and black American artists and writers, including George Lamming, Leopold
Senghor, James Baldwin, and Richard Wright.

Building on these earlier efforts, the founding meeting of the Non-aligned Movement
opened in Belgrade on September 6, 1961, just as the Berlin crisis was peaking. For
Westad, the fact that participants all sent letters to Kennedy and Khrushchev “lecturing
superpowers on proper conduct in international relations” constituted a significant
shift.28 The heady promise of this moment is perhaps better appreciated in the context of
the international outpouring of protest over the assassination of Lumumba on January 17,
just seven months before the Belgrade Conference. As documented by the historian Leo
Zeilig, after the news was officially announced on February 13, “as many as 30,000
smashed their way into the Belgian Embassy in Belgrade.” The Yugoslav demonstrators
shouted, “Lumumba will live forever.” President Tito argued that the murder “had no
precedent in [recent] history.”29

Outrage over the Lumumba murder was widespread. An estimated one-half million people
demonstrated in Shanghai. Belgium's Embassy was attacked in Warsaw, and the
Ambassador fled for his life. In Syria students and workers took to the streets, and
demonstrations occurred in London and Paris as well.30 As African American protestors at
the United Nations in New York held signs declaring that “The Murder of Lumumba
Exposes the Nature of Colonialism,” Kwame Nkrumah observed from Ghana that
Lumumba's murder was “the first time in history that the legal ruler of a country has
been done to death with the open connivance of a world organization on whom that ruler
put his trust.”31 According to Zeilig, “a potent sense of shame and seething anger”
clouded the meeting rooms of the UN. Journalist Philip Deane reported that “the Afro-
Asian delegates . . . swallow their drinks as if there was a bitter taste in their mouths . . . 
[I]n the lobbies and corridors and bars of the United Nations’ glass palace, you can hear

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

growing almost hour by hour, a menacing myth that could destroy the world organization
itself.”32

UN complicity in Lumumba's assassination proved not to be myth. The covert intrigue


surrounding Lumumba's assassination and civil war in the Congo has been told at length.
Of special concern here is how the crisis gave a powerful impetus to the Non-aligned
Movement. Its founding meeting later that year was a venue for reasserting
independence at a moment when the United Nations had acted brazenly as the
instrument of colonial and neo-colonial interests.

Lumumba's assassination reverberated across the globe, literally changing the cold war
landscape, as streets were named after him in cities including Jakarta, Belgrade, (p. 461)
Tehran, Budapest, Algiers, Santiago de Cuba, Łódź, Kiev, Rabat, Maputo, Leipzig, Lusaka,
Tunis, Fort-de-France, and Montpellier. In Moscow, the Peoples’ Friendship University
had been established by the Soviet Union on February 5, 1960. Already conceived as a
university for the education and training of foreign students from decolonizing regions,
on February 22, 1961, it was renamed “Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ University.” In the first
year, 539 foreign students from 59 countries were enrolled (plus 57 Soviet students).

The resurgent anti-imperialism and non-alignment of that moment was by no means


simply a result of renewed Soviet support for the Third World. The Soviet Union had been
dilatory in its support for Lumumba until Lumumba finally asked for assistance after
being betrayed by the United Nations. Only two months after Che Guevara's scathing
indictment of the United States in his December 11, 1964, speech at United Nations, in
which he also charged the United Nations with complicity in the assassination of
Lumumba and declared his allegiance with non-alignment, Che notably took the Soviet
Union to task in a speech in Algiers on February 24, 1965.33 As Piero Gleijeses writes in
his exploration of Cuba and the United States in Africa, Che charged that the USSR and
other socialist countries were “to a certain extent accomplices to the imperialist
exploitation of the third world . . . and have a moral duty to liquidate their tacit complicity
with the exploiting countries of the west.”34 While the public admonishment of the Soviets
did not sit comfortably with Castro, Castro approved Che's return to Africa with Cuban
troops to intervene in Zaire (Congo) on behalf of the beleaguered guerilla army of
Laurent-Désiré Kabila, made up of Lumumba's former supporters. Che's campaign ended
in despair and disillusionment, and four days after Che and the Cuban group departed on
November 21, 1966, General Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, a close ally of the US since 1960,
consolidated his power in a coup, beginning his thirty-two year dictatorship. Che's failed
campaign in the Congo illustrates tensions between radical anti-imperialists and the
Soviet Union. Transnational projects exceeded and were not defined by the superpowers.

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Transnationalism and locating the archive of


the cold war
Che's efforts in the Congo marked only the beginning of Cuba's increasing commitments
in Africa, and Gleijeses’ masterful account is based on vast multilingual and transnational
archival research. But other scholars have demonstrated that the genesis of momentous
transnational formations cannot be adequately understood from the papers of diplomats
alone. For example, social history beyond the purview of state archives reveals the ways
in which transnational religious organizations such as global Christian missionary
societies and global Islamic formations such as the Muslim Brotherhood have filled the
breach when states cannot respond to famine in the Sudan, broken levees (p. 462) in New
Orleans, or floods in Pakistan. Such formations benefited from the deep entanglement of
state and religion from 1947 onward and the later cold war CIA funding of Islamic
fundamentalists in Afghanistan. While an exploration of such formations is beyond the
scope of this essay, transnational movements that claim a religious impetus are among
the most significant legacies of the cold war.

Historical fiction also offers an important vehicle for recovering the complex, multiple
global histories engendered or transformed by the cold war. Kamila Shamsie's Burnt
Shadows is woven through with cold war dynamics, from the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki,
to CIA permeated Karachi, to late 20th and early 21st century wars in Afghanistan. The
novel opens in 1945 Nagasaki with 19-year-old Hiroko Tanaka tutoring Konrad Weiss, a
German man who has spent the war years in Japan and finds himself in an awkward
position after Germany's surrender to the Allies. Just as the young couple have fallen in
love, Konrad is incinerated in the atomic blast. Hiroko survives, with the images of the
birds and, indeed, the fabric of the kimono she wore at the time of the explosion, indelibly
etched into her back, forever a part of her body.

Proscribed as a bomb victim, Hiroko makes her way to Delhi in 1947 to find Konrad's
British half-sister, whose husband serves in the British Foreign Service, along with
Konrad's boyhood friend, Sajjad Ashad. As Sajjad tutors Hiroko in Urdu, once again
language study leads to love. Honeymooning in Istanbul to escape the violent upheavals
of partition, the couple is denied re-entry into India when officials claim that Sajjad left
voluntarily and, as a Muslim, has no right to return. Exiled from Dilli, Sajjad's home in the
Muslim heart of Delhi, they settle in Karachi, where after decades of building a life and
raising a son, Raza, their lives are overtaken by cold war perils: the threat of nuclear war
between India and Pakistan; the growing repression under the US-backed Pakistani
military dictatorships; and the shadowy but ubiquitous presence of the CIA and its
alliance with Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). As the agencies police the
Pakistan/Afghanistan border, reaching into the border camps and far beyond, Raza is
drawn into the intrigue, deceit, and divided loyalties of private military corporations.

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Shamsie's rendering of global postwar history imagines developments that were


independent of, yet fatefully affected by, bipolar rivalry. Following Shamsie's example, to
consider the interconnectedness of the cold war with other developments, historians must
at once recover the projects and dreams of those whose lives were hijacked by cold war
dynamics, without evading the violence imposed on those lives. This call for an integrated
history immediately raises the question of archives and, mostly simply put, who gets to
tell the story of the cold war?

As the cold war reinforced the partition of India and Pakistan after the US swept Pakistan
into its Northern Perimeter Defense Zone after partition, and vexing questions of
repatriation arose from multiple new borders, problems of the transnational were
fundamentally woven into the fabric of the cold war. Where do people belong; and with
millions left without recourse to any governmental body that recognized the legitimacy of
their political aspirations and subjectivity, to what possible (or overlapping) jurisdictions
could one appeal for justice or the adjudication of disputes?

(p. 463)While Hiroko's story is fictional, the story of lives shattered by the bomb and
partitions, the story of displaced people forced to rebuild lives and dreams again and
again, are barely glimpsed in state archives. Yet the stories of the everyday displaced are
urgently critical to any comprehension of the 20th century. In the novel, as Hiroko left
Japan for India, and then Pakistan, and later for New York after her husband was killed by
a trigger-happy CIA driver, we see the complex ways in which the deformities of
colonialism hardened and were reified under the pressures of cold war geopolitics. If
partition was a product of colonial policies, the military hostilities between India and
Pakistan are inseparable from the US cold war alliance with Pakistan and its cold war
hostility toward the non-aligned policies of India. Without the US arming of Pakistan and
support of military dictatorships, along with extensive CIA presence in Pakistan and
Afghanistan, Hiroko would not have lost her husband to an assassin, nor would she have
found herself in Karachi, living in fear of yet another nuclear explosion, or lost her
beloved son to the CIA's secret prison complex.

Had Hiroko stayed in Japan, she might have faced another version of the intersection of
colonialism and nuclear warfare, perhaps discovering that 30 percent of Hiroshima's
bomb victims were Korean, and that at the end of the US-Japanese conflict, 18–20
percent of the Korean population was living outside of Korea, conscripted in Japanese war
efforts. Scholars such as Lisa Yoneyama have challenged the erasures of the 30,000
Korean victims of Hiroshima from history and have created a frame for understanding
movement and displacement, where borders crossing peoples and states conscripting
peoples are as significant as people crossing borders.35 From the newly drawn borders of
Korea, India/Pakistan, Yugoslavia/Italy, Germany, Poland, the Congo, to the 1948
Apartheid consolidation of “homelands” carved outside of the mineral wealth of the
region, the transnation is imbricated through every fabric of the cold war world.

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The afterlife of cold war transnationalism


The Johannesburg-born and Cape Town-based photographer Guy Tillum says of his 2009
exhibit Avenue Patrice Lumumba, a haunting document of the post-colonial urban African
landscape:

[T]hese photographs are not collapsed histories of post colonial African states or a
meditation on aspects of late-modernist-era colonial structures, but a walk
through avenues of dreams. Patrice Lumumba's dream, his nationalism, is
discernible in the structures, if one reads certain clues, as is the death of his
dream, in these de facto monuments. How strange that modernism, which
eschewed monument and past, for nature and the future, should carry memory so
well.36

Over the past two decades, and reaching a crescendo with the 50th anniversary of
Lumumba's assassination in January 2011, film and theater productions on Lumumba's
death represent resistance to efforts to erase this sordid episode. The Haitian-
(p. 464)

born filmmaker Raoul Peck followed his 1992 documentary Lumumba: Death of a Prophet
with the 2000 feature film, Lumumba, recounting Lumumba's demise and the
consolidation of Mobutu's dictatorship. More recently, Michel Noll's Death Colonial Style:
The Execution of Patrice Lumumba has incorporated interviews with Larry Devlin, the
CIA station chief in Leopoldville, as well as with Belgian officials. Although the CIA failed
to carry out its orders to assassinate Lumumba, it worked extensively with Belgian
authorities to ensure his removal. The documentary unearths a grisly tale involving the
destruction of Lumumba's body in acid and secret body-part trophies retained by the
murderers. Most recently, Gayatri Spivak's 2009 translation of the Martiniquean poet and
writer Aime Cesaire's 1966 play about the death of Lumumba, Une Sai au Congo (A
Season in the Congo) opened in September 2010 for a limited run at the Lion Theatre in
New York City, through Rico Works Production, producers Jackie Jeffries and Rico
Speight.37

Projects exploring Lumumba and his memory challenge superpowers’ erasure of Third
World movements and insist on telling the story of the cold war in terms of the violent
disruptions of fledgling democratic projects and the horrific legacy of superpower-armed
dictatorships in the Congo and elsewhere in southern Africa.

Fifty years after the assassination of Lumumba, his legacy remains for many a focal point
for contesting the legacy of the cold war. As noted above, Lumumba Streets have
disappeared from many eastern bloc cities. On February 5, 1992, Patrice Lumumba
Peoples’ University was renamed and officially re-founded as the Peoples’ Friendship
University of Russia, as part of the State Institute of Higher Education of the government
of the Russian Federation. Yet the embassy rows in many African capitals still bear
Lumumba's name, and one can still find in Tehran, Port-au-Prince, and other cities that

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Lumumba's memory endures. The revival of interest in Lumumba has significance beyond
symbolism and iconography.

Like the organizers of the Bruce Lee monument in Mostar who spoke of the screen icon
as embodying the hope of their childhood, anthropologist and filmmaker Maple Razsa, in
his 2010 film Bastards of Utopia, recalls the sense of empowerment once felt by people in
his native Yugoslavia that they could choose a path not defined by cold war superpowers
and make a difference in the world. Exploring the democratic projects of a younger
generation, Razsa explains: “I was not nostalgic for the object of Yugoslav socialists’
political hopes—the socialist state and economy—but for political hope itself.”38 In the
burgeoning literature on post-cold war memory, a current trope is that of hope itself:
hope of surmounting crippling economic inequalities, reductive nationalisms, superpower
blocs, wars, violence, and despair. For Buck-Morss, it was not the dream of bringing the
good life to the masses itself that was flawed so much as the unaccountable and terrifying
“wild zones of power” that developed within state structures, whatever their avowed
ideological commitments. The tension of universalizing utopian visions on the one hand,
and state and political structures that not only failed to deliver on their promise, but
committed murderous betrayals of their ideals on the other, gave rise to the potent
alternative utopias. The Bosnian monument to Bruce Lee, along with (p. 465) Razsa's film,
echo the contemporary revival of interest in Patrice Lumumba, and speak to the resilient
appeal of the era's transnational projects.

Just as the Mostar organizers of the Bruce Lee monument see in Lee's memory the
embodiment of the anti-imperialist ideals that were the more positive memory of the
Yugoslavia of their youth, so Lumumba's image as an icon of global liberation has
survived the post-Soviet abandonment of Third World liberation movements. In marking a
political moment that also transcended a bipolar divide, Lumumba Street named and
continues to evoke a democratic and oppositional imagination that could not be contained
by the Soviet and eastern bloc states, or the superpower struggle of the cold war era.
Recovering the transnational power of Lumumba shows us how an identification and
solidarity with the decolonizing world was part of the imagination of the cold war,
affirming the basis for community and solidarity in imperfect worlds.

Select Bibliography
Boym, Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Buck-Morss, Susan. Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East
and West. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.

Duara, Prasenjit. “Transnationalism and the Challenge of National Histories,” in Thomas


Bender, ed. Rethinking American History in a Global Age. Berkeley, CA: University of
California Press, 2002.

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Locating The Transnational in the Cold War

Gleijeses, Piero. Conflicting Missions, Havana, Washington, and Africa. Chapel Hill, NC:
University of North Carolina Press, 2002. (p. 468)

Kwon, Heonik. The Other Cold War. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Mamdani, Mahmood. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: The Cold War and Roots of Terror. New
York: Pantheon, 2004.

Manela, Erez. The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of
Anticolonial Nationalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Moyn, Samuel. The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Cambridge, MA: Belknap/
Harvard University Press, 2010.

Schäfer, Axel R. “The Cold War State and the Resurgence of Evangelicalism: A Study of
Public Funding of Religion since 1945,” Radical History Review No. 99 (Fall 2007), 19–50.

Suny, Ronald Grigor and Martin, Terry, eds. A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-
Making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Westad, Odd Arne. The Global Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Zeilig, Leo. Patrice Lumumba: Africa's Lost Leader. London: Haus Publishing, 2008.

Notes:

(1.) Alexander Zaitchik, “Mostar's Little Dragon: How Bruce Lee Became a Symbol of
Peace in the Balkans,” Reason Online, April 2006, <http://www:reason.com/0604/
cr.az.mostars.shtml>; on the vandalism, see, <http://www.artfagcity.com/2009/08/24/img-
mgmt-turbo-sculpture/>; on the global importance of Bruce Lee, see, Vijay Prashad,
“Bruce Lee and the Anti-imperialism of Kung Fu,” Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique
11 (Spring 2002): 51–90.

(2.) For an example of a historically situated discussion of transnationalism, see Prasenjit


Duara, “Transnationalism and the Challenge of National Histories,” in Thomas Bender,
ed., Rethinking American History in a Global Age (Berkeley, CA: University of California
Press, 2002). See also, Heonik Kwon, The Other Cold War (New York: Columbia University
Press, 2010).

(3.) Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia (New York: Basic Books, 2002). See also
Charity Scribner, Requiem for Communism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005).

(4.) See, Uta Poiger, Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a
Divided Germany (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2000); Eli Rubin,
Synthetic Socialism: Plastics and Dictatorship in the German Democratic Republic
(Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2008).

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(5.) Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins
of the United Nations (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 2009); Samuel Moyn, The
Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (Cambridge, MA: Belknap/Harvard University
Press, 2010); Pamela Ballinger, “Borders of the Nation, Borders of Citizenship: Italian
Repatriation and the Redefinition of National Identity after World War II,” Comparative
Studies in Society and History 49:3 (2007): 713–41; S. James Anaya, Indigenous Peoples
in International Law (New York: Oxford, 2004).

(6.) Chalmers Johnson, Blowback: The Cost and Consequences of American Empire, with
post 9–11 introduction (New York: Henry Holt, 2004). For one of many examples of recent
coverage of this phenomenon, see Mark Mazzetti, “Former Spy with Agenda Operates
Own Private C.I.A.” New York Times, January 22, 2011.

(7.) Carol Gluck and Anna Lawenhaupt Tsing, eds., Words in Motion: Towards a Global
Lexicon (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009).

(8.) Susan Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East
and West (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002).

(9.) Buck-Morss, Dreamworld; Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World
Interventions and the Making of our Time (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2006).

(10.) Ronald Grigor Suny and Terry Martin, eds., A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-
Making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 16. See
also Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet
Union, 1923–1939 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001).

(11.) Martin, Affirmative Action Empire, 69.

(12.) Martin, Affirmative Action Empire.

(13.) Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International
Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

(14.) Westad, The Global Cold War, 66.

(15.) Penny Von Eschen, Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold
War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004).

(16.) Penny Von Eschen, Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism,
1937–1957 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997).

(17.) Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet
Generation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006); Rubin, Synthetic Socialism,
8. See also, Katherine Pence and Paul Betts, eds., Socialist Modern: East German

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Everyday Culture and Politics (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2008); Rubin,
Synthetic Socialism.

(18.) Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, 8.

(19.) Satoshi Nakano, “South to South across the Pacific: Ernest E. Neal and Community
Development Efforts in the American South and the Philippines,” The Japanese Journal of
American Studies No. 16 (2005): 181–202; Bruce Cummings, Dominion from Sea to Sea:
Pacific Ascendancy and American Power (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009),
chapters 14–16.

(20.) Melani McAlister, “The Persecuted Body: Evangelical Internationalism, Islam, and
the Politics of Fear,” in Michael Laffan and Max Weiss, eds., Facing Fear: The History of
an Emotion in Global Perspective (Princeton: Princeton University Press, forthcoming
2012).

(21.) Axel R. Schäfer, “The Cold War State and the Resurgence of Evangelicalism: A Study
of Public Funding of Religion since 1945,” Radical History Review, Issue 99 (Fall 2007):
25–6.

(22.) Schäfer, “The Cold War State.” For antecedents, see James Sparrow, Warfare State:
World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government (New York: Oxford University
Press, 2011).

(23.) See Cary Fraser in this volume.

(24.) On US views of Middle Eastern non-alignment, see Douglas Little, American


Orientalism: The United States and the Middle East since 1945 (Chapel Hill, NC:
University of North Carolina Press, 2002); on US diplomacy and views of non-alignment
in Ghana and Africa, see Kevin K. Gaines, American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates
in the Era of Civil Rights (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006).

(25.) Mridula Mukherjee, “Situating India in the Nehru Years,” paper presented at Tokyo
University, Slavic Department, symposium of Working Group on Regional Powers and the
Cold War in Asia, March 8–9, 2010. On the US hostility to India and non-alignment and
the sharp contrast with Pakistani military support from the United States that reached
back to partition, see Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: The Cold War and
Roots of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 2004). See also Westad, The Global Cold War, and
David F. Schmitz, The United States and Right Wing Dictatorships, 1965–1989 (New York
and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

(26.) The signatories of the SEATO treaty were the United States, Britain, France,
Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Thailand. See Von Eschen, Race
against Empire, 168–73; Paul Gordon Lauren, Power and Prejudice: The Politics of
Diplomacy and Racial Discrimination (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1988), 209.

(27.) Lauren, Power and Prejudice, 214: Von Eschen, Race against Empire, 170–1.

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(28.) Westad, The Global Cold War, 107.

(29.) Leo Zeilig, Patrice Lumumba: Africa's Lost Leader (London: Haus Publishing, 2008),
131–3.

(30.) Zeilig, Lumumba, 133.

(31.) Quoted in Gaines, American Africans in Ghana, 122.

(32.) Quoted in Zeilig, Lumumba, 133.

(33.) <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8po84osCl8&feature=related>; 1964 speech


at the United Nations with English translation. On the 1965 Algiers speech, see, Piero
Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions, Havana, Washington, and Africa (Chapel Hill, NC:
University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 79.

(34.) Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions, 79.

(35.) Lisa Yoneyama, Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space, and the Dialectics of Memory
(Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999).

(36.) Guy Tillum, Avenue Patrice Lumumba, with texts by Robert Gardner and Guy Tillum
(Cambridge, MA: Prestel and Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard
University, 2008).

(37.) See: A Season in the Congo YouTube—trailer from New York production; <http://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtzfCMHXIYg>. Other recent commemorations include the
Argentinean reggae band “Lumumba,” featuring Fidel Nadal and Pablo Molina; and an
April 2009 commemoration of the late 1960s naming-struggle at UC San Diego when
students from the Black Student Council and Mexican-American Youth Association of the
University of California, San Diego attempted to name the newly established Third
College, “Lumumba-Zapata College.” Unable to obtain permission for the administration,
the college went without a name for two decades until it was christened “Thurgood
Marshall College.”

(38.) In a forthcoming book of the same name, Razsa is currently writing an ethnography
of transnational cooperation among radical activists in Europe based on work with radical
anarchist youth in Zagreb, Croatia.

Penny Von Eschen

Penny Von Eschen is Professor of History and American Culture at the University of
Michigan.

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