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The Cold War

Cold War American Exiles and Expatriates (1946 – 1989)

The colony of American writers

The colony of American writers

The colony of American writers living and working in postwar Paris. Front row, from left: Vilma Howard, Jane Lougee, Muffy Wainhouse, Jean Garrigue. Second row: Christopher Logue, Richard Seaver, Evan Connell, Niccolò Tucci, Eugene Walter, unidentified, Peter Huyn, Alfred Chester, Austryn Wainhouse. Back row: George Plimpton, Michel van der Plats, James Beoughton, William Gardner Smith, Harold Witt. (Photo courtesy of the Paris Review)

Against the backdrop of the competition between the United States, the Soviet Union, and to a somewhat lesser extent, the People’s Republic of China for the “soul of mankind,” Americans of various backgrounds sought either direct involvement, abstention, or refuge from its wake.

Some American expatriates offered their services in support of the liberation and decolonization movements around the globe in places like revolutionary Cuba and Nicaragua, Indonesia, and newly independent African nations such as Ghana, and Kenya.

The Vietnam War acted as both a crucible and catalyst for American exile and expatriation. Draft resisters fled the United States and built lives in Canada, Japan, and Scandinavia while communities of American Vietnam War veterans developed principally in Thailand and the Philippines.

The Cold War

Draft-age Americans receiving counseling from the Toronto Anti-Draft Programme which was Canada’s largest organization providing pre-emigration counseling and post-emigration services to American Vietnam War resisters.  (Photo courtesy of Laura Jones and Bennett Jones Phillips)

Former United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Terry Whitmore (third from the left) and fellow veteran Vietnam War deserters arriving in Stockholm, 1968

Former United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Terry Whitmore (third from the left) and fellow veteran Vietnam War deserters arriving in Stockholm, 1968.  Their journey to Sweden traversed Tokyo, Japan, and Vladivostok, Soviet Union.  (Photo courtesy of AP Images)