Well, my topic has changed since the last post. I'm no longer planning on looking at Russian spies in the US. I'll actually be researching the OSS, which was the American wartime intelligence agency that eventually became what we now know as the CIA. There's a branch of this organization called Morale Operations, which used psychological warfare in the form of propaganda to affect German morale on the military as well as civilian side. I'm specifically looking at radio operations, in which a radio station would broadcast anti-Nazi propaganda across Europe. Both US and British intelligence utilized these tools of warfare, but from my reading I've gotten the impression that the two Allied countries didn't always agree on the methods used to conduct psychological warfare. In fact, there was even disagreement within the OSS itself over just how far the US should go in messing with the German psyche. How far is too far during wartime?
This is the large, overarching question of my research. To what lengths are we willing to go, as human beings, in order to "succeed" in war?
I recently saw the film Zero Dark Thirty, which received a lot of flack (no pun intended) for its portrayal of torture. Some of the same questions apply there too….just how far do we go during wartime, in order to achieve our goals? The film is brilliant, by the way. The last shot in particular too….wow. Powerful.
So those are the questions I'm dealing with. It's been a fascinating topic to look into so far, and I can't wait to explore the holdings of the National Archives to see what they might have on this topic.
In other news, I've been reading Shakespeare's play Coriolanus. I'm still in Act 1, only because of my WWII reading, but it's been great so far. I'm not quite sure why this play doesn't get the recognition of some of Shakespeare's other works…the language is equally powerful. I'm hoping to see a stage version of the play while I'm out in DC doing research, but we'll see. I'll definitely check out the recent Ralph Fiennes/Gerald Butler film adaptation, which I've heard is excellent. What can I say? I'm a sucker for Shakespeare.