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The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 (Paperback)
  • The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 (Paperback)
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The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 (Paperback)

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£29.99
Paperback 568 Pages / Published: 16/11/2009
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Published at a time when the US government's public diplomacy has been in crisis, this book provides an exhaustive account of how it used to be done. The United States Information Agency was created, in 1953, to 'tell America's story to the world' and, by engaging with the world through international information, broadcasting, culture, and exchange programs, became an essential element of American foreign policy during the Cold War. Based on newly declassified archives and more than 100 interviews with veterans of public diplomacy, from the Truman administration to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nicholas J. Cull relates both the achievements and the endemic flaws of American public diplomacy in this period. Major topics include the process by which the Truman and Eisenhower administrations built a massive overseas propaganda operation; the struggle of the Voice of America to base its output on journalistic truth; the challenge of presenting civil rights, the Vietnam War, and Watergate to the world; and the climactic confrontation with the Soviet Union in the 1980s. This study offers remarkable and new insights into the Cold War era.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521142830
Number of pages: 568
Weight: 980 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 33 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Highly recommended.' Choice
'Nicholas Cull's comprehensive history of USIA begins by clarifying what is meant by 'public diplomacy.' This is a great service, because since 9/11 every committee, think tank, advisory board and broom closet in Washington has published a report on the topic ... none cuts through the semantic muddle as deftly as Mr Cull.' Martha Bayles, Wall Street Journal
'Cull's masterful history will be the gold standard in scholarship on USIA.' Bruce Gregory, Naval War College Review
'Exhaustively researched, lucidly written with an obvious enthusiasm for the subject, The Cold War and the US Information Agency deserves to become a standard text of public diplomacy.' Lawrence Raw, Journal of Popular Culture
'At a time when public diplomacy is more important than ever before, Nick Cull has provided a comprehensive examination that should be of great value to professionals, scholars, and concerned citizens. Thoroughly researched and clearly organized, the book illuminates the evolution of public diplomacy in the United States during the Cold War, highlights successes and failures, and suggests lessons for the future.' Melvyn P. Leffler, Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia
'American soft power has recently been in decline, yet we used public diplomacy as a key instrument of soft power during the Cold War decades. This important book tells the story of how we did it, and what we need to do it again.' Joseph S. Nye, Jr, University Distinguished Service Professor, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
'Although US capabilities in public diplomacy have withered over the past decade, The Cold War and the United States Information Agency suggests the importance of examining the lessons that might be learned from earlier successes and failures of 'soft power'. Drawing on prodigious archival research and engagingly written, Cull presents the first comprehensive history and assessment of the varied elements that comprised the USIA's mission to tell 'America's story to the world'. He consistently weaves insightful analysis into an engrossing and timely narrative.' Emily S. Rosenberg, University of California, Irvine
'In The Cold War and the United States Information Agency, Nick Cull has written the definitive history of US public diplomacy. It is a masterwork, meticulously researched and engagingly written, and should be required reading for anyone who cares about US foreign policy.' Kristin M. Lord, Associate Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
'[Nicholas Cull's] conclusions are based on a huge amount of evidence, which he presents in a lucid manner. This is an important book, if a melancholy one, and deserves to be read by historians and practitioners alike.' The Times Literary Supplement

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