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Inventing Public Diplomacy: The Story of the U. S. Information Agency
     

Inventing Public Diplomacy: The Story of the U. S. Information Agency

by Wilson P. Dizard
 
In 1941 Orson Welles directed the USIA's first propaganda film—which turned out to have so little to do with the purported topic, US friendship with Latin American nations, that it wasn't distributed. The propaganda agency eventually got a better handle on how to influence world opinion, making use of radio, print, and other media. Dizard's history, which ranges

Overview

In 1941 Orson Welles directed the USIA's first propaganda film—which turned out to have so little to do with the purported topic, US friendship with Latin American nations, that it wasn't distributed. The propaganda agency eventually got a better handle on how to influence world opinion, making use of radio, print, and other media. Dizard's history, which ranges from World War II to the information age, gives a nod to renewed efforts since Sept. 11, 2001, in the face of formidable opposition to the US war in Iraq. Dizard served in the State Department and the USIA from 1951 to 1980. Nine pages of b&w images depict agency-allied events from book fairs to ballet performances to cocktail parties. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
This history of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) could not have come at a better time. Fifteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States finds itself caught up in an ideological struggle with radical terrorists in the Middle East, and winning "hearts and minds" is once more at the center of the foreign policy agenda. As Washington busily struggles to re-invent the wheel and develop an approach to ideological combat, a career veteran of the USIA has written a history of U.S. public diplomacy from World War II to 1999, when the USIA was folded into the State Department. Dizard is sometimes too close to his subject: he slips a little too easily into regarding history as a morality play involving farsighted USIA professionals fending off ignorant redneck conservatives, and the tone of clubby reminiscence sometimes cloys. But on the whole, this is an extremely useful, clear, and compact introduction to a vitally important aspect of U.S. foreign policy. A familiarity with this history would save policymakers from repeating some costly mistakes.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781588262882
Publisher:
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/2004
Pages:
230
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

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