Disco and Atomic War
by Jaak Kilmi
Did disco cause the collapse of the Soviet Union? The story of a strange kind of information war, where a totalitarian regime stands face to face with the heroes of popular culture. Despite a ban on western media, from the 1950s onward many Estonias were able to easily pick up Finnish radio and television broadcasts from across the border with homemade antennas. Western popular culture had an incomparable role shaping Soviet children’s worldviews in those days—in ways that now seem slightly odd. Finnish television was a window to the world of capitalism’s pleasures that the authorities could not block.