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COCA-COLA SOCIALISM

Americanization of Yugoslav Culture in the Sixties

This book is about the Americanization of Yugoslav culture and everyday


life during the nineteen-sixties. After falling out with the Eastern bloc,
Tito turned to the United States for support and inspiration. In the
political sphere the distance between the two countries was carefully
maintained, yet in the realms of culture and consumption the Yugoslav
regime was definitely much more receptive to the American model. For
Titoist Yugoslavia this tactic turned out to be beneficial, stabilising the
regime internally and providing an image of openness in foreign policy.

Coca-Cola Socialism addresses the link between cultural diplomacy,


culture, consumer society and politics. Its main argument is that both
culture and everyday life modelled on the American way were a major
source of legitimacy for the Yugoslav Communist Party, and a powerful
weapon for both USA and Yugoslavia in the Cold War battle for hearts
and minds. Radina Vučetić explores how the Party used American
culture in order to promote its own values and what life in this socialist
and capitalist hybrid system looked like for ordinary people who lived in
a country with communist ideology in a capitalist wrapping. Her book
ISBN: 978-963-386-200-1 offers a careful reevaluation of the limits of appropriating the American
$65. 00 / €.58.00 / £.50.00 dream and questions both an uncritical celebration of Yugoslavia’s
Cloth, 360 pages, 32 photos openness and an exaggerated depiction of its authoritarianism.

“In this book Radina Vučetić shows very vividly how one can understand the different trends of “appropriation”
of certain “American”/”Western” trends by taking a closer look at certain fields of cultural and social life: cinema
and films, jazz and rock’n’roll, Pop-Art and Abstract expressionism, life-style and fashion as well as consumption.
But she also offers a careful reevaluation of the limits of “appropriating” the “American dream.” Capitalism and
democracy was never seen as compatible with socialism, Yugoslavia remained a very much ideologically driven
socialist society.
This books is very successful in opening very original insights into both: the appropriation and
admiration of “American culture,” on the one hand, and the wariness and even antagonism against it, on the
other.” Eric Gordy, University College London

“In this pioneering book, Radina Vučetić shows how the ‘American way of life’ and its material emissaries,
ranging from film to fashion to music, were received and reworked in 1960s Yugoslavia, with surprising results.
She provides a fresh perspective on how and why Yugoslavia’s uniquely pivotal place between East and West
served as a key testing ground for the making of Cold War culture.” Paul Betts, University of Oxford

About the author:


Radina Vučetić is Associate Professor at the Department of History, University of Belgrade.

Published in 2018 by Central European University Press


Ordering information: www.ceupress.com • ceupress@press.ceu.edu