Memoirs by practitioners and monographs on cultural diplomacy and international broadcasting abound. [...] there has been no in-depth scholarly treatment of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), the government organization primarily responsible for America's international information, broadcasting, and educational and cultural exchange activities during the Cold War.
122 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVIEW unqualified endorsement. If you read development of information and cul- only one book on the global war on ter- tural programs during World War II, rorism, do not make it this one. If, Cull’s narrative, organized in chapters however, you read several books on the on presidential administrations and subject or your job involves long-term USIA directors, deals principally with planning for the war on terror, this the decades between USIA’s creation in work is certainly worth a look, as it will 1953 and the end of the Cold War in make you aware of many of the mind 1989. He concludes with a brief epi- sets and biases that shape government logue on USIA’s final decade, years that rhetoric and conventional commentary saw consolidation of U.S. international on terrorism and national security. broadcasting services under the inde- pendent Broadcasting Board of Gover- ROBERT HARRIS Burke, Virginia nors and the transfer of USIA’s information, exchange, and foreign- opinion-research programs to the Department of State in 1999. Cull assesses with remarkable evenhand- Cull, Nicholas J. The Cold War and the United edness the priorities, decisions, and or- States Information Agency: American Propaganda ganizational struggles of political lead- and Public Diplomacy, 1945–1989. New York: ers and USIA’s practitioners. There is Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008. 533pp. $125 no ideological tilt in his examination of Public diplomacy today is a topic of sharply contested approaches to win- global conversation. Books on the “new ning the Cold War struggle for “hearts public diplomacy” of state and nonstate and minds.” The book is not a lament actors appear with increasing fre- for USIA’s demise or a call for its resto- quency. Memoirs by practitioners and ration. Cull brings a scholar’s disci- monographs on cultural diplomacy and pline, a wealth of empirical evidence, international broadcasting abound. Un- and arm’s-length perspective to his til now, however, there has been no analysis. Nevertheless, Cull does have in-depth scholarly treatment of the U.S. strong opinions. He renders critical Information Agency (USIA), the gov-
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