Helen Goggins: Sputnik

   Diana Trilling’s article, “Dog-Lovers, Three Liberals and A Dixiecrat Flee Sputnik Reality”, dissects the relationship between Sputnik and the destruction of the peace of mind shared by many Americans. The article begins with the discussion of American protesters being  consumed with the rights of the dog in the Sputnik satellite. Trilling notes that the focus on the dog takes away from the celebration of the technological advances that took place in the launching of Sputnik. She goes on to discuss how Sputnik was a symbol of Soviet dominance over American technology.

   Three public figures that spoke out against the launch of Sputnik were Margaret Mead, Norman Cousins, and James Johns. The trio were on a television program, “Faces of War”, promoting a pacifist agenda. The show took a stand saying, “We must discover in ourselves the will and means to stop the devastations of modern warfare.” The shows political message lead to the New York Public Library, a sponsor of the program, pulled their funding because they did not agree with the program’s message. The passionate “Faces of War” passionate stand lead Trilling to dive deeper into the larger issue at hand; people were not fearful of science growing and exploring outer space, they feared the dominance that the Soviet Union’s ability to produce and execute a successful space mission implied. Sputnik was a leap in scientific technology but it was perceived by “Face of War” and many Americans as a exhibit of Soviet dominance over the United States.

Trilling, Diana. “Dog-Lovers, Three Liberals and A Dixiecrat Flee Sputnik Reality.” New Leader 40, no. 47 (Nov 25, 1957): 15. http://login.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1308957095?accountid=14826.

  1 comment for “Helen Goggins: Sputnik

  1. hryan
    November 1, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    This is certainly an interesting take on Sputnik! I’d be interested to know how these three people reacted to the US launch of Ham the Astrochimp in 1961. But if they were the liberals then who was the dixiecrat?
    -HR

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