This introductory chapter states that understanding competition and integration is crucial to explaining the emergence of a globalization dominated by one but bearing the marks of the other. Notable Soviet successes in specific engagements consistently masked its gradual integration into the U.S.-dominated global system. The end of World War II was a period of desperate, existential struggle for the Soviet Union. Artistic production and cultural exchange were integral parts of that struggle. But after its conclusion, Joseph Stalin launched a series of overlapping campaigns—Zhdanovshchina and anticosmopolitanism—to reinforce ideological discipline. Despite the xenophobia of these campaigns, cultural exchange abroad expanded rapidly at the end of the 1940s, and the interaction between competition and integration with the West had begun. By the time Stalin died, a transition from xenophobia to overconfident projection of influence abroad was underway.
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