CPD University Fellow Nicholas Cull’s Cold War/USIA Book Released in Paperback

CPD University Fellow and Director of the USC Master of Public Diplomacy Program Nick Cull's most recent book, The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 has just been released in paperback by Cambridge University Press.

To mark the event, a reception and discussion will be held the evening of December 10, 2009 at the University of Southern California's Washington DC Center. For details, click here.

"I am delighted to see the publication of an affordable edition of my history of USIA," said author Nicholas Cull. "I hope that the book will find a wider audience as a result. My intent was always that students would be able to use my account as a jumping off point for their own in-depth research into the history of public diplomacy, but I also hope that it might contribute to the debate about the best way to rebuild U.S. public diplomacy."

The Cold War 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. 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.

"American soft power has recently been in decline, yet we used public diplomacy as a key instrument of soft power during the Cold War decades. This important book tells the story of how we did it, and what we need to do it again." - Joseph S. Nye, Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, Kennedy School of Government

Read the Wall Street Journal's review of the publication here.

From Cambridge University Press:

Published at a time when the U.S. government’s public diplomacy is in crisis, this book provides an exhaustive account of how it used to be done. The United States Information Agency was created in 1953 to “tell America’s story to the world” and, by engaging with the world through international information, broadcasting, culture and exchange programs, became an essential element of American foreign policy during the Cold War. Based on newly declassified archives and more than 100 interviews with veterans of public diplomacy, from the Truman administration to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nicholas J. Cull relates both the achievements and the endemic flaws of American public diplomacy in this period. Major topics include the process by which the Truman and Eisenhower administrations built a massive overseas propaganda operation; the struggle of the Voice of America radio to base its output on journalistic truth; the challenge of presenting Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, and Watergate to the world; and the climactic confrontation with the Soviet Union in the 1980s. This study offers remarkable and new insights into the Cold War era.

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