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Cambridge University Press
The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989

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

by Nicholas J. CullNicholas J. Cull
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Published at a time when the U.S. government's public diplomacy is 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 radio 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521142830
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/16/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 568
Sales rank: 625,474
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Nicholas J. Cull is Professor of Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. He is the author of Selling War; The British Propaganda Campaign Against American 'Neutrality' in World War II and the co-editor (with David Culbert and David Welch) of Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the Present. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the Public Diplomacy Council, and President of the International Association for Media and History.

Table of Contents

Prologue: the foundations of US information overseas; 1. Getting the sheep to speak: the Truman years, 1945–53; 2. Mobilizing 'the P-Factor': Eisenhower and the birth of the USIA, 1953–6; 3. In the shadow of Sputnik: the second Eisenhower administration, 1957–61; 4. Inventing truth: the Kennedy administration, 1961–3; 5. Maintaining confidence: the early Johnson years, 1963–5; 6. 'My radio station': the Johnson administration, 1965–9; 7. Surviving détente: the Nixon years, 1969–74; 8. A new beginning: the Ford administration, 1974–7; 9. From the 'two-way' mandate to the second Cold War: the Carter administration, 1977–81; 10. 'Project Truth': the first Reagan administration, 1981–4; 11. Showdown: the second Reagan administration, 1985–9; Epilogue: victory and the strange death of the USIA, 1989–99; Conclusion: trajectories, maps, and lessons from the past of US public diplomacy.

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