Cold War Modernists Art, Literature, and American Cultural Diplomacy

Cold War Modernists
  • Engels
  • Hardcover
  • 9780231162302
  • Druk: 1
  • februari 2015
  • 336 pagina's
Alle productspecificaties


European intellectuals of the 1950s dismissed American culture as nothing more than cowboy movies and the A-bomb. In response, American cultural diplomats tried to show that the United States had something to offer beyond military might and commercial exploitation. Through literary magazines, traveling art exhibits, touring musical shows, radio programs, book translations, and conferences, they deployed the revolutionary aesthetics of modernism to prove-particularly to the leftists whose Cold War loyalties they hoped to secure-that American art and literature were aesthetically rich and culturally significant. Yet by repurposing modernism, American diplomats and cultural authorities turned the avant-garde into the establishment. They remade the once revolutionary movement into a content-free collection of artistic techniques and styles suitable for middlebrow consumption. Cold War Modernists documents how the CIA, the State Department, and private cultural diplomats transformed modernist art and literature into pro-Western propaganda during the first decade of the Cold War. Drawing on interviews, previously unknown archival materials, and the stories of such figures and institutions as William Faulkner, Stephen Spender, Irving Kristol, James Laughlin, and Voice of America, Barnhisel reveals how the U.S. government reconfigured modernism as a trans-Atlantic movement, a joint endeavor between American and European artists, with profound implications for the art that followed and for the character of American identity.


This is a thoroughly excellent book, a magnum opus of genuine scholarship, and a genuine delight for readers. -- Lawrence Rainey, University of York This book fills a long-felt need for a scholarly work on the importance of U.S. cultural exchange with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe during the Cold War. -- Yale Richmond, Foreign Service Officer, retired, and former Counselor for Press and Culture in the American Embassy in Moscow Conceptually sophisticated, thoroughly researched, and lucidly written, Greg Barnhisel's important new study combines an assured grasp of historical context with sensitive readings of artworks and literary texts to illuminate previously obscure aspects of the 'Cultural Cold War.' -- Hugh Wilford, author of The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America and America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East. Deftly working across genres, Barnhisel mobilizes rich archival sources to show not only the accommodation of modernism to anti-Communism but also the entanglement of the highbrow and the middlebrow. In that way, this lively, fascinating book contributes to the histories of both cultural diplomacy and cultural hierarchy. -- Joan Shelley Rubin, author of Cultural Considerations: Essays on Readers, Writers, and Musicians in Postwar America [A] groundbreaking book. -- Steve Donoghue Open Letters Monthly Making good use of archival sources, Mr. Barnhisel provides an engaging and informative survey. -- Glenn Altschuler Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Cold War Modernists makes a valuable addition to the grown literature on the cultural aspects of the Cold War. Thoroughly researched and written in a compact and readable style, it is a work that sets itself a viable task and accomplishes it. Souciant An exquisite, intricate, and satisfying study... Essential. Choice A welcome addition to the scholarship on modernism after the Second World War. -- Lise Jaillant Textual Practice An important source for scholars and students of Cold War culture... Thorough and illuminating, offering a rich new account of a story we thought to be familiar. -- Will Norman The Review of English Studies Greg Barnhisel's Cold War Modernists charts impeccably the transformation of twentieth-century modernism from abrasive (European) avant-garde to a stylistic iconography of Western (American) freedom... It is one of those commendable books that invites you to revisit what has already been said and makes you realize that the established story, up till now, was lacking. -- Giles Scott-Smith Diplomatic History Barnhisel's book will rightly become the go-to reference for critics and historians of the Cultural Cold War... Cold War Modernists focus on the arts-adjacent institutions that filter literary and artistic value provides a new way to think about how and why modernism has had such a lasting legacy in the 20th century. -- Donal Harris Los Angeles Review of Books Coherently organized, superbly researched, and judiciously balanced. -- Stephen J. Whitfield Journal of Cold War Studies An important source for scholars and students of Cold War culture. The account it offers of cultural diplomacy in the Truman and Eisenhower years is both thorough and illuminating, offering a rich new account of a story we thought to be familiar. -- Will Norman Review of English Studies Barnhisel's book has a good deal to teach historians of the Cold War located outside art and literature departments... He sifts through dozens of unpublished primary sources and writes with narrative drive as well as learned, enlivening wit. -- William J. Maxwell Journal of American History The greatest merits of this work are its grand scope, clear argument, and impressive archival research; the writing is crisp, witty, and accessible... [An] outstanding book... [Cold War Modernists] deserves wide readership. There is no denying that Barnhisel has contributed to our collective understanding of modernism and its role in Cold War cultural diplomacy. -- Andrew J. Falk The American Historical Review Elegant and richly researched Against the Current A refreshing contribution to scholarship on the so-called cultural Cold War... Cold War Modernists displays a literary critic's sensitivity to rhetorical nuance combined with an intellectual historian's grasp of cultural, social and political contexts. It is written with style, assurance and at times with wit. -- Jason Harding Literature & History [Cold War Modernists] is an impressive achievement, based on extensive archival research, a close reading of the most important secondary literature, and some key interviews. -- Dr. John H. Brown American Diplomacy



Aantal pagina's
336 pagina's
Aanbevolen leeftijd
22 jaar
Met illustraties


Greg Barnhisel
Columbia University Press



Overige kenmerken

Extra groot lettertype
Oorspronkelijke releasedatum
Art, Literature, and American Cultural Diplomacy
Thema Subject Code

Je vindt dit artikel in

Boek, ebook of luisterboek?
Studieboek of algemeen
Algemene boeken
Snelle bezorgopties
Gratis verzending
Nog geen reviews
49 -
Uiterlijk 19 december in huis Tooltip
Verkoop door partner van
Andere verkopers (1)
  • Gratis verzending
  • 30 dagen bedenktijd en gratis retourneren