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date: 01 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Following World War I, many countries launched propaganda initiatives that would project their national image. The United States took small steps in this regard, first by establishing a couple of bi-national centers to promote understanding between American ex-pat communities and their hosts in Thailand (1925) and Argentina (1928). In 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt relied on one-way propaganda by print, cultural exports, and other media to counter Nazi influence in South America. The United States undertook psychological warfare during World War II and the early Cold War. In early 1965 Edmund Gullion, a recently retired U.S. career ambassador and newly appointed Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, coined the term “public diplomacy” to describe a variety of information practices at the time. This chapter examines public diplomacy in the United States, focusing on the factors that have helped it move forward as well as the factors that have characterized and hindered its progress. It shows that a big part of the problem stems from the distinction between public diplomacy and propaganda.

Keywords: propaganda, public diplomacy, United States, World War I, World War II, Cold War, Edmund Gullion, Franklin D. Roosevelt, psychological warfare

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