American Idol After Iraq: Competing for Hearts and Minds in the Global Media Age / Edition 1

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This dazzling little book explores the role of US media in foreign policy, not only at the present moment, but with an eye to the future.

  • Written by a veteran Hollywood film executive and an internationally known columnist in foreign affairs
  • Explains how American movies, TV shows, and pop music provide the images of America to the rest of the world, and the rest of the world to Americans
  • Includes discussions of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed Danish daily newspapers, Tibetan monks censored out of Chinese TV news reports only to show up on You Tube, and the Vatican's assault on the Da Vinci Code movie
  • Argues that Hollywood is a key player in the 'deep coalition' required to support a 'smart power' foreign policy and build a global cultural infrastructure that will make the world safe for interdependence
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The authors draw on their extensive experience and contacts within the political and entertainment arenas to present an interesting analysis of the role of media, and especially Hollywood film, in support of US foreign policy objectives." (CHOICE, January 2010)

“Gardel’s and Medavoy’s readable and yet comprehensive book explores the need to understand the effective use of power in an increasingly globalized world; the understanding of which has never been more pressing or pertinent, following, as it has, the increasingly negative perceptions of America’s policies abroad.” (Editorial On The Environmentalist, April 2009)

"This fascinating work, rich in dates and anecdotes, opens our eyes to the impact the Hollywood audiovisual phenomenon has had and still has, as well as analyzing the image of America and the role its cinema must play. Both entertaining and informative, as well as brave, Nathan Gardels and Mike Medavoy’s book defines challenges and obstacles in order to overcome them, as well as providing solutions." [Translated from Spanish.] (Critica Libro, April 2009)

“Gardels and Medavoy’s text succeeds in challenging the philosophical assumptions of public diplomacy while remaining accessible and practical.” (Public Diplomacy Magazine, Winter 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405187428
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/21/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Nathan Gardels is the editor of New Perspectives Quarterly. He has written widely for many publications, both nationally and internationally, including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Guardian, Corriere della Sera, El Pais, Le Figaro, and the New York Review of Books.

Mike Medavoy is the chairman and co-founder of Phoenix Pictures. Throughout his career he has been involved in the creation of countless films, including sixteen nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards, and seven winners.

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Table of Contents


Six Key Concepts of This Book.

1 Hearts, Minds, and Hollywood.

2 The Magic is Gone – Except at the Box Office.

3 Creativity into Cash: How Hollywood Works.

4 Seeing and Being Seen.

5 Hollywood Beats the Red Army.

The Height of America’s Cultural Appeal.

6 Backlash: Soft Power is Still Power, and Still Makes Enemies.

7 Culture Wars in the West: The Pope vs. Madonna.

8 Media Storm Troopers of the West vs. Islam.

9 New Stories, New Audiences in the Global Age.

10 Reinventing Cultural Diplomacy.


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