Dissertations@Portsmouth - Details for item no. 13545

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Millard, Daniel (2019) Exploring together: how curators, correspondents and cartoonists presented the Space Race to the British public, 1957-1975.. (unpublished BA dissertation), University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth


Between 1957 and 1975 the attention of Britain’s curators, cartoonists and newspaper correspondents was repeatedly drawn to the heavens. Leading their cultural outputs was a desire to trace the technological and ideological struggle taking place between the World’s nations as they sought to claim supremacy in early space exploration. Historians have been generally slow to study how these cultural offerings presented the space race story to the British public. This dissertation addresses the shortcoming by analysing source material found primarily within the London Science Museum. It determines: how comprehensive the coverage was; to what degree it suggested Britain was losing prestige in pursuing only a small interest in the field of space research; and how far Britain’s cultural professionals were prepared to put aside national predilection to celebrate the achievements of the Cold War astronaut or cosmonaut.
Supported by oral testimony gathered from those working in both the scientific and cultural fields at the time of the race, the dissertation concludes that, despite wide-ranging coverage of the key missions, the reporting of British space activity was generally muted. The story on offer dwelt primarily on the activities of the Americans as they battled to beat the Soviets – the race’s early leaders – to the Moon

Course: History - BA (Hons) - C1087

Date Deposited: 2020-09-21

URI/permalink: https://library.port.ac.uk/dissert/dis13545.html