Bertrand Russell had been known by the public as a prominent anti-war activist. After the tragedy of the Second World War, he spent the last quarter of his life working for political causes primarily related to nuclear disarmament. He cooperated with intellectuals from both sides of the Iron Curtain to pursue world peace and mutual understanding. His efforts led to the publication of Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955 and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs since 1957. However, the case of Russell’s thoughts on war and peace during the early Cold War was quite complex. Sometimes he advocated a preemptive nuclear attack against the Soviet Union, other times he acted like a “Cold Warrior” for the Western Bloc and engaged in propaganda activities. He published several works subsidized secretly by the Information Research Department, a shadowy branch of the British Foreign Office with the covert dissemination of anti-Communist arguments. On the other hand, the Eastern Bloc saw he Communist-aligned peace movement as a “struggle for peace” when there was an arms race. Russell’s campaign for peace was often associated with various front organizations of the Soviet Union, such as the World Peace Council which had obvious affiliation with socialist countries. A lot of western intellectuals who involved in European peace movements had connections to leftist and communist organizations, and many of them were labeled as “crypto-communists”, “appeasers of Russia” or “reliably pro-Russian”. The Pugwash Conference was perceived by Western governments as a “communist front” at the very beginning. This paper therefore tries to explore Bertrand Russell’s anti-nuclear campaign and cultural cold war activities, in order to obtain some achievements on the research of culture, power and politics in the Cold War.
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