Window on Freedom: Race, Civil Rights, and Foreign Affairs, 1945-1988 / Edition 1

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The civil rights movement in the United States drew strength from supporters of human rights worldwide. Once U.S. policy makers—influenced by international pressure, the courage of ordinary American citizens, and a desire for global leadership—had signed such documents as the United Nations charter, domestic calls for change could be based squarely on the moral authority of doctrines the United States endorsed abroad.

This is one of the many fascinating links between racial politics and international affairs explored in Window on Freedom. Broad in chronological scope and topical diversity, the ten original essays presented here demonstrate how the roots of U.S. foreign policy have been embedded in social, economic, and cultural factors of domestic as well as foreign origin. They argue persuasively that the campaign to realize full civil rights for racial and ethnic minorities in America is best understood in the context of competitive international relations.

The contributors are Carol Anderson, Donald R. Culverson, Mary L. Dudziak, Cary Fraser, Gerald Horne, Michael Krenn, Paul Gordon Lauren, Thomas Noer, Lorena Oropeza, and Brenda Gayle Plummer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Cutting-edge scholarship on a fascinating intersection of domestic and international history. The Cold War can no longer be understood without its racial dimensions. (Tim Borstelmann, author of The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena)

This collection presents important original research that will be valuable and enabling for scholars studying the intersections of race, foreign affairs, and civil rights. (Penny Von Eschen, University of Michigan)

Foreign Affairs
Each contributor to this first-rate collection examines how the movement for racial equality in America can be better understood if placed in the context of competitive international relations. Most chapters highlight the first two postwar decades, when a complex and halting process of triangulation developed between Washington policymakers, race-focused domestic constituencies from right to left, and foreign critics. The authors argue that domestic calls for reform proved largely unavailing until America's international image and prestige came under withering fire from newly independent African and Asian countries in the fledgling United Nations and exposure of American hypocrisies about race handed the Soviet Union a powerful Cold War card. Specific topics include the impact of Gunnar Myrdal's 1944 classic An American Dilemma, the waning international traction of white supremacist ideologies, shifting attitudes toward Europe's postwar "brown babies," the "unwelcome mat" put out for African diplomats in metropolitan Washington, and the political reverberations of Bandung and Birmingham. Rich footnoting makes this work a very good resource for students of racial factors in international relations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807854280
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenda Gayle Plummer is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Rising Wind: Black Americans and U.S. Foreign Affairs, 1935-1960.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Seen from the Outside: The International Perspective on America's Dilemma 21
Race from Power: U.S. Foreign Policy and the General Crisis of White Supremacy 45
Brown Babies: Race, Gender, and Policy after World War II 67
Bleached Souls and Red Negroes: The NAACP and Black Communists in the Early Cold War, 1948-1952 93
An American Dilemma: Race and Realpolitik in the American Response to the Bandung Conference, 1955 115
Segregationists and the World: The Foreign Policy of the White Resistance 141
The Unwelcome Mat: African Diplomats in Washington, D.C., during the Kennedy Years 163
Birmingham, Addis Ababa and the Image of America: International Influence on U.S. Civil Rights Politics in the Kennedy Administration 181
Antiwar Aztlan: The Chicano Movement Opposes U.S. Intervention in Vietnam 201
From Cold War to Global Interdependence: The Political Economy of African American Antiapartherd Activism, 1968-1988 221
Selected Bibliography 239
Contributors 251
Index 253
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