Public diplomacy, neglected following the end of the Cold War, is once again a central tool of American foreign policy. This book, examining as it does the Marshall Plan as the form of public diplomacy of the United States in France after World War Two, offers a timely historical case study. Current debates about globalization and a possible revival of the Marshall Plan resemble the debates about Americanization that occurred in France over fifty years ago. Relations between France and the United States are often tense despite their shared history and cultural ties, reflecting the general fear and disgust and attraction of America and Americanization. The period covered in this book offers a good example: the French Government begrudgingly accepted American hegemony even though anti-Americanism was widespread among the French population, which American public diplomacy tried to overcome with various cultural and economic activities examined by the author. In many cases French society proved resistant to Americanization, and it is questionable whether public diplomacy actually accomplished what its advocates had promised. Nevertheless, by the 1950s the United States had established a strong cultural presence in France that included Hollywood, Reader’s Digest, and American-style hotels.
Acerca de Brian A. McKenzie
Brian A. McKenzie teaches history and comparative government at Kutztown University. His work has previously been published in French Politics, Culture, and Society and presented at a number of professional conferences.