America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe
Though shattered materially and psychologically by World War II, educated Europeans did not shed their opinions about the inferiority, vulgarity, and commercialism of American culture. American elites deeply resented this condescension. They believed that the United States had two culture wars to win: one against the Soviet Bloc as part of the larger struggle against communism and the other against deeply rooted negative views of America as a civilization. In 1958, Shepard Stone, then directing the Ford Foundation's International Affairs program, suggested that his staff "measure" America's cultural impact in Europe. He wanted to determine whether efforts to improve opinions of American culture were yielding good returns. This book uses Stone as a window to this world in which the European-American relationship was hammered out in cultural terms - an arena where many of the 20th century's major intellectual trends and conflicts unfolded.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
This fascinating book is both a biography of the American diplomat Shepard Stone and an intricate account of U.S. cultural policies in Europe after World War II... By throwing light on this neglected but vital story, Berghahn has made a major contribution to the understanding of American hegemony in postwar Europe. Foreign Affairs A valuable piece of research about an extraordinary historical event and Mr. Berghahn has told it well. -- Arnold Beichman Washington Times This is a thoughtful volume by someone equally at home in American and European intellectual history. It recounts the unique career of a man who felt comfortable among the best brains, enabled them to do valuable work, loved to argue, made enemies by putting people downAiand made history. -- Robert Goldman The New Leader An excellent new book... Berghahn combines biography and cultural history to provide a deft portrait of European-American relations in the modern era. -- David M. Oshinsky The New York Times Book Review An important contribution to intellectual history. -- Arnold Beichman The Weekly Standard Erudite and thoughtful. Chioce This study represents a substantial contribution to the small but growing body of work on the culture and ideas of the Cold War. Above all, it is a truly international study, showing that the traffic in ideas is a worthy subject for students of international relations. International Affairs Berghahn ... successfully identifies and illuminates the too-often neglected role of nongovernmental actors in the evolution of American Cold War diplomacy. -- Walter L. Hixson American Historical Review This is a laudable effort that should provoke much discussion about this aspect of the Cold War. It will also provides an important guidepost for further investigations of the cultural and intellectual cold wars of this period and their lace within the Soviet-American conflict as a whole. -- Gregory Moore The Historian A significant addition to the burgeoning literature on Americanization. -- Brian C. Etheridge German Studies Review