Are We Winning, Mommy? America and the Cold War

Director: Barbara Margolis
Screenwriters: L.S. Block, John Crowley

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


A history of America’s Cold War, beginning in 1945, and evoking the cultural milieu in which the significant political events of that era emerged. Four decades of cultural and political history gallop before us: Vice President Richard Nixon making headlines by confronting Premier Krushchev, Bing Crosby crooning to a postwar boomtime America, schoolchildren under their desks in a “duck and cover” drill and Senator Joseph McCarthy promising to reveal the reds under our beds.

In the course of five years of research, filmmaker Barbara Margolis has uncovered some remarkable archival materials, intercut with contemporary interviews with such people as Noam Chomsky and Jerome Wiesner (on the origins of the Cold War), Arthur Kinoy(on the Rosenbergs), Fred Friendly (on CBS’ response to McCarthysim), and Clark Clifford (on the Truman doctrine). Her major themes include America’s military build-up, the nation’s periodic “red scares,” the growth of organized labor and third-party politics and our history of deteriorating relations with the Soviet Union. An ambitious and provocative work, Are We Winning, Mommy? is essential for anyone wishing to understand the whys and wherefores of Mr. Reagan at Reykjavik.

— Karen Cooper

Screening Details


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