The End of Isolation

Reference work entry

In his article Pearl Harbor and public diplomacy: 70 years on, Nicholas J. Cull explores the British influence on the US entry into World War II.

Last December marked the 70th anniversary of one of the great turning points in international diplomacy: the entry of the United States into the Second World War following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Major US public diplomacy initiatives followed, including the Voice of America and appointment of the first wave of cultural attachés at American embassies. However, the public diplomacy preceding this momentous event also deserves to be revisited: specifically, the subtle campaign undertaken by Britain to wean the United States away from its profound historical attachment to neutrality and to secure its participation in the war.

Re-examined through the lens of contemporary understanding of the importance of public diplomacy and ‘soft power’, the British campaign now seems like the moment that foreign policy through...


  1. Cull, Nicholas J., ‘Pearl Harbor and public diplomacy: 70 years on’ in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (volume 8, Issue 1). Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.Google Scholar

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