Saturday, July 30, 2016

Gone are the days of "telling America's story to the word" (written in 1978)


image from

Excerpt from: 124. Report of the United States Advisory Commission on International Educational and Cultural Affairs, Washington, March 31, 1978
In the first years of the 20th century, “splendid isolationism” seemed to most Americans a sound basis for a viable foreign policy. World War II put a sudden and unhappy end to this illusion. In the years immediately following the war, America’s unprecedented military and economic power lulled many of us into the smug belief that we could create a pax Americana simply by “telling America’s story to the world.” That dream, too, was shattered by events. Other countries grew in power and influence and became disinclined to accept our bland assumption that the United States had all the answers. Gone now are the days of the Marshall Plan, when European newspapers readily accepted press handouts from American sources. Gone are the days of the Truman Doctrine, when a Greek radio or television station felt obliged to air canned programs on the United States. Gone are the days when citizens of developing countries avidly snapped up subsidized translations of American books, flocked into USIS libraries [JB - see], or crowded into theatres as they once did. As the societies of the world have evolved, it has been made abundantly clear that this now is a genuinely interdependent world; that common problems call for joint solutions; and that the exchange of ideas cuts two ways—not one. ...

No comments: