Cull pens book on U.S. public diplomacy during the Cold War
Posted June 30, 2008
Professor and director of the Master of Public Diplomacy program Nicholas Cull (pictured, right) has published a new book about the history of the U.S. government's public diplomacy efforts titled The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: America Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 (Cambridge University Press).
"I hope my book will fill in some of the blanks in the history of U.S. public diplomacy, and help prevent the repetition of some of the mistakes of the past," Cull said. "My research shows that public diplomacy is a crucial element of foreign policy, but America's approach has been consistently flawed by in-fighting, a lack of connection to policy making and a marked aversion to listening."
The book explores the history and effectiveness of American "soft power" in dealings with foreign nations from the end of World War II to the end of the Cold War, and provides a comprehensive survey of American propaganda and its effects and lessons.
"In 'The Cold War and the United States Information Agency,' Nick Cull has written the definitive history of U.S. public diplomacy," said Kristin M. Lord, associate dean of the Elliot School of International Relations at The George Washington University. "It is a masterwork, meticulously researched and engagingly written, and should be required reading for anyone who cares about U.S. foreign policy."
Basing his approach on more than a hundred interviews and scores of newly declassified documents, Cull details the need for a new, concerted effort in the field of public diplomacy if the United States is to be a continuing player on the international diplomatic stage.
"At a time when public diplomacy is more important than ever before, Nick Cull has provided a comprehensive examination that should be of great value to professionals, scholars, and concerned citizens," said Melvyn P. Leffler, professor of American history at the University of Virginia. "Thoroughly researched and clearly organized, the book illuminates the evolution of public diplomacy in the United States during the Cold War, highlights successes and failures, and suggests lessons for the future."
The Cold War and the United States Information Agency
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