Hope and Folly: The United States and UNESCO, 1945-1985

Overview

Hope and Folly was first published in 1989. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Created in a burst of idealism after World War II, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) existed for forty years in a state of troubled yet often successful collaboration with one of its founders and ...

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Overview

Hope and Folly was first published in 1989. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Created in a burst of idealism after World War II, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) existed for forty years in a state of troubled yet often successful collaboration with one of its founders and benefactors, the United States. In 1980, UNESCO adopted the report of a commission that surveyed and criticized the dominance, in world media, of the United States, Japan, and a handful of European countries. The report also provided the conceptual underpinnings for what was later called the New World Information and Communication Order, a general direction adopted by UNESCO to encourage increased Third World participation in world media. This direction - it never became an official program - ultimately led to the United States's withdrawal from UNESCO in 1984.

Hope and Folly is an interpretive chronicle of U.S./ UNESCO relations. Although the information debated has garnered wide attention in Europe and the Third World, there is no comparable study in the English language, and none that focuses specifically on the United States and the broad historical context of the debate. In the first three parts, William Preston covers the changing U.S./ UNESCO relationship from the early cold war years through the period of anti-UNESCO backlash, as well as the politics of the withdrawal. Edward Herman's section is an interpretive critique of American media coverage of the withdrawal, and HerbertSchiller's is a conceptual analysis of conflicts within the United States's information policies during its last years in UNESCO. The book's appendices include an analysis of Ed Bradley's notorious "60 Minutes" broadcast on UNESCO.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.'' Thus begins the constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, established in the wake of WW II to further world peace. The U.S., a founding member, would later accuse UNESCO of corruption, ``politicization'' and threatening the workings of the free press on a global scale. In 1983, frustrated by its own loss of influence in Third World countries, the U.S. pulled out. This painstakingly documented book defends UNESCO with passion and intelligence, chronicling the history of the organization and the Reagan administration's alleged disinformation campaign against it, and chastising the American media for echoing the anti-UNESCO government line. Preston is emeritus professor of history at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Herman is professor of finance at the Wharton School and Schiller is professor of communication at the University of California at San Diego. (Oct.)
Booknews
An analysis of the history of US/UNESCO relations from the early cold war years through the period of anti-UNESCO backlash and the US withdrawal. Paper edition (1789-9), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816617890
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Series: Media and Society
  • Edition description: Minnesota Archive Editions
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 5.91 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Herbert I. Schiller is a professor of communication at the University of California. He received his Ph.D. from New York University.

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