The American Marshall Plan Film Campaign and the Europeans A Captivated Audience?

Uitgever: Bloomsbury

  • Engels
  • Paperback
  • 9781350126374
  • september 2019
  • 360 pagina's
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The US government launched the European Recovery Programme, otherwise known as the Marshall Plan', in order to save war-torn Europe from collapse in 1948. Yet while much is known about the economic side of the Marshall Plan, the extensive film campaign that accompanied it has been largely overlooked until now. The American Marshall Plan Film Campaign and the Europeans is the first book to explore the use of the Marshall Plan films and, importantly, their distribution and reception across Europe. The study examines every available film - the 170 that remain from the 200 estimated to have been made - and looks at how they were designed to instil hope, argue the case for economic restructuring and persuade the Europeans of the superiority of the liberal-capitalist system. The book goes on to reason that the films served as a powerful weapon in the cultural Cold War, but that the European audiences were by no means passive victims of the US propaganda effort. Maria Fritsche discusses the Marshall Plan films in the context of countries across Western, Northern and Southern Europe, covering the majority of the 17 European countries that participated in the Plan in the process. The book incorporates 70 images and utilises a vast number of archival sources to explore the strategies the US adopted to sway the minds of the Europeans, the problems they encountered in the process and, not least, the varied responses of the European audiences. It is a vital study for any scholar or student keen to know more about postwar recovery in Europe, the legacy of the Second World War or America's relationship with Europe in the 20th century.


The American Marshall Film Campaign and the Europeans is a solid study that teaches us a lot about MP films and their role in shaping transatlantic affairs during the early Cold War. Readers interested in cinema, cultural policy, and international relations will greatly benefit from this volume. * H-FedHist * Whereas other scholars have explored Marshall Plan films in different thematic and national contexts, Fritsche... [Is] the first to rise to the occasion of the film campaign's resolutely transnational framework. * Moving Image * Fritsche's study provides critical insight into the workings of a transatlantic and trans-European project. She also ably demonstrates how changing Cold War circumstances, such as the Korean War, altered the direction of film propaganda. While the ultimate efficacy of the propaganda campaign is difficult to judge, Fritsche's reconstruction of the politics, cinematic subject matter, and dissemination methods for the propaganda provides an important window into postwar international politics. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. * CHOICE * Fritsche's final point that the ECA documentaries were part of a wider process of cultural transfer is surely correct ... this volume, although recounting events of the past, remains very relevant today. * Journal of Contemporary European Studies * This is as complete a history of Marshall Plan films as we are ever likely to get, or need... So, hats off to Maria Fritsche for this outstanding effort. * David Ellwood, Senior Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, Johns Hopkins University, USA * Fritsche's book is a much-needed resource for teaching both advanced undergraduate and graduate-level media and history courses. It is a must-read book in methodology courses for discussing how film historiography is put into action to explore government-sponsored media infrastructures. Moreover, this book is a fantastic resource for learning how to conduct interdisciplinary research that brings together and builds upon the knowledge produced from the individual fields and disciplines. * Alphaville *



september 2019
Aantal pagina's
360 pagina's


Professor Maria Fritsche



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