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Freedom vs. Tyranny:
Epic Speeches of the Cold War

What does it mean to stand in defense of freedom? During the Cold War (1945-1991), the future of liberty and of humanity itself was under threat. Backed by the Soviet Union, communist dictatorships were imposed by violent revolution in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. These totalitarian regimes denied citizens their most basic rights—outlawing political opposition and dissenting opinion, abolishing the free press and the free market, and prohibiting the free exercise of religion. To meet this unprecedented challenge, great statemen and thinkers in the West exposed the threat of Soviet communism and promoted a vision of what might be done to oppose it. To better understand the Cold War and how it was won, as well as what it means to lead and to defend freedom, we will read historic speeches by statesmen such as Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, and thinkers including Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

This course is generously supported by the David Fleischer Forum on American Civilization