Reasserting America in the 1970s U.S. Public Diplomacy and the Rebuilding of America’s Image Abroad

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-09-24
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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Reasserting America in the 1970s brings together two areas of burgeoning scholarly interest. On the one hand, scholars are investigating the many ways in which the 1970s constituted a profound era of transition in the international order. The American defeat in Vietnam, the breakdown of the Bretton Woods exchange system, and a string of domestic setbacks including Watergate, Three-Mile Island, and reversals during the Carter years all contributed to a grand reappraisal of the power and prestige of the United States in the world. In addition, the rise of new global competitors such as Germany and Japan, the pursuit of détente with the Soviet Union, and the emergence of new private sources of global power also contributed to uncertainty.

At the same time, within diplomatic history proper, the study of “public diplomacy” has generated searching reappraisals of many of the field's certitudes. This scholarship has now begun to move into a new conceptual maturity with a developing theoretical base underwriting its institutional narratives, borrowing to a great degree from the literature on “Americanization” and the role of American culture abroad in various national and regional settings.

Reasserting America in the 1970s brings together these two areas of topical scholarly interest, to study how American public diplomats at home and abroad struggled to maintain American cultural preeminence in a world of shifting challenges to American power.

Author Biography

Hallvard Notaker works at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo, where he has held positions as Senior Research Fellow and Managing Editor. He has published articles and anthology chapters on transatlantic cultural transfers as well as the most recent volume of the history of the Norwegian Conservative Party.

Giles Scott-Smith
is Senior Research at the Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, The Netherlands and the Ernst Van Der Beugel Chair of Transatlantic Diplomatic History since WW II at the University of Leiden. He is the author or editor of nine books, most recently Western Anti-Communism and the Interdoc Network: Cold War Internionale (2012). He is the current chair of the Transatlantic Studies Association.

David J. Snyder
teaches in the history department at the University of South Carolina, US. He is the co-editor of Rebellion in Black and White: Southern Student Activism in the 1960s (2013). His work on US public diplomacy and transatlantic relations has appeared in leading journals and anthologies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. The Historical Setting: 1970s as an Age of Uncertainty
3. Building a Home for U.S. Public Diplomacy: The USIA in the 1970s
4. The U.S. Information Agency Responds to the Women's Movement
5. Selling Space Capsules, Moon Rocks, and America: The Use of Project Apollo in Public Diplomacy, 1961-1975
6. The Sister City Movement in the 1970s: American Municipal Internationalism and Public Diplomacy in a Decade of Change
7. Paintbrush Politics: The Collapse of American Arts Diplomacy, 1968-1972
8. 'A Cause You Can Believe In': The Cold War Consensus, Détente, and the Exposure of CIA Sponsorship of Radio Free Europe
9. 'The Low Key Mulatto Coverage: Race, Civil Rights, and American Public Diplomacy, 1965-1975
10. America's Guided and Spontaneous Public Diplomacy in France and Italy during the Years of Eurocommunism
11. The Spirits of '76: U.S.-Scandinavian Diplomacy Commemorating the American Bicentennial in 1976
12. 'Something to Boast About': Western Enthusiasm for Carter's Human Rights Diplomacy
13. To Arms for the Western Alliance: The Committee on the Present Danger, Defense Spending, and the Perception of American Power Abroad, 1973-1980
14. The Alamo of the Cold War': German-American Volksfests and Public Diplomacy in West Berlin, 1965-1980
15. Selling America in Sharpeville and Soweto: The USIA in South Africa, 1960-1976
16. Unquiet Americans: The Church Committee, the CIA and the Intelligence Dimension of
U.S. Public Diplomacy in the 1970s
17. Afterword: Reflections of a Diplomatic Historian

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