Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 266–267 | Cite as

Culture and propaganda: The progressive origins of American public diplomacy, 1936–1953

  • Emily T Metzgar
Book Review

Sarah Ellen Graham Ashgate Publishing, Burlington, VT, 2015, 275pp., $119.95 ISBN: 978-1472459022 (Hardback)

This meticulously researched volume by Sarah Ellen Graham of the University of Sydney offers valuable insights into the early days of activities recognized today as central to American public diplomacy efforts. The narrative of Culture and Propaganda: The Progressive Origins of American Public Diplomacy, 1936–1953 points to the mindset of US officials from the interwar period until the early days of the cold war as the country increasingly engaged in activities that when practiced by others were viewed as crude propaganda, but when undertaken by the US government were justified as noble exercises in the global promotion of democratic thinking.

This sense of American exceptionalism pervades Graham’s history as she pulls from a wealth of primary and secondary sources to present a picture of ‘the political, cultural and ideological meanings that American officials attached to the...


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily T Metzgar
    • 1
  1. 1.BloomingtonIndianaUSA

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