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Cold War Modernists
Author: Greg Barnhisel

ISBN: 9780231162302
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 14 February 2015
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 3.6
Description:


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 ...

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