Beware the British Serpent: The Role of Writers in British Propaganda in the United States, 1939-1945

Beware the British Serpent: The Role of Writers in British Propaganda in the United States, 1939-1945

by Robert Calder
     
 

ISBN-10: 0773526889

ISBN-13: 9780773526884

Pub. Date: 03/01/2004

Publisher: Mcgill-Queens University Press

Robert Calder demonstrates that Britain's well-organized propaganda campaign to persuade the United States to enter World War I had left isolationist and anglophobic Americans highly suspicious of anything that hinted of manipulation. Any effort to influence American public opinion during World War II had therefore to be carefully and subtly undertaken and the British…  See more details below

Overview

Robert Calder demonstrates that Britain's well-organized propaganda campaign to persuade the United States to enter World War I had left isolationist and anglophobic Americans highly suspicious of anything that hinted of manipulation. Any effort to influence American public opinion during World War II had therefore to be carefully and subtly undertaken and the British government soon realized that well-known authors - employed officially or semi-officially - were ideal for the task. Respected for the power of their pens, they were especially suited to reminding Americans of their strongest links with Britain - a common language and a shared cultural heritage of Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, and others. As well, their profession had often led them to tour, speak, write, and live in America and, because they could undertake propaganda work without being on the payroll of the British government, they were not identifiable as paid foreign agents.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780773526884
Publisher:
Mcgill-Queens University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Illustrations
1The Yanks aren't coming : American isolationism3
2The strangling old school tie : anglophobia in the United States21
3The magic of the word : mobilizing authors for war39
4Making the war seem personal : British authors in the United States56
5Uncoordinated observations : Noel Coward and H. G. Wells89
6One God-damned thing after another : W. Somerset Maugham116
7A sad story of official duplicity : Cecil Roberts134
8Unheralded ambassadors from England : British non-fiction propaganda151
9Thrilling and dramatic fiction : British propaganda in fiction and poetry181
10A friendly intruder in a non-belligerent world : writers in British radio propaganda205
11The most gigantic engines of propaganda : British writers and film propaganda239
Conclusion259
Notes263
Bibliography289
Index301

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