Cold War Exiles in Mexico: U.S. Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance - by Schreiber, Rebecca M.

Rebecca M. Schreiber
Kenneth Maffitt


North American imperialism in Latin America and cultural representations of post-Second World War anxiety in the United States are well established sub-fields in Cold War studies; in contrast, interactive, explicitly transnational histories of US–Latin American relations and cultural production during the Cold War have only recently begun to appear. Rebecca M. Schreiber's deeply researched Cold War Exiles in Mexico represents an important example of this trend. The witch hunts, blacklists and forced conformity of the early Cold War in the United States provoked the flight of many artists, writers, screenwriters and filmmakers to Mexico. From the end of the Second World War until the mid-1960s, the communities of political exiles, Schreiber argues, formed a ‘culture of critical resistance’, producing works that expressed a ‘critique of U.S. racism, nationalism, and imperialism’ (p. xii). This conclusion is unsurprising, considering that most of the exiles were left-wing dissidents. Yet Schreiber extends and enriches her central argument by demonstrating how life in Mexico broadened the exiles' thinking, and by showing how their work influenced popular culture on both sides of the border and beyond.