According to the most recent interpretations, the Cold War was a conflict between rivalling systems of societal order dealing with differing modes of modernization and different ways of overcoming modernization crises, which involved primarily transnational elements. The new approach is based on a re-evaluation of the importance of culture and ideology within the specific structure of the Cold War. In this essay an attempt is made at integrating the culturalist and transnationalist perspectives into the classical way of treating the subject. After a brief historiographical and theoretical introduction, the author exemplifies the great significance of transnational cultural efforts within the broader framework of the conflict by focusing on the history of the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its impact on the American hegemonic system after 1950. The CCF emerges as a major factor of the strategy adopted by the Americans in order to win the battle for the "hearts and minds" of the peoples involved in the struggle, helping them to develop a "consensus liberalism" especially attractive for the non-communist left.