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Through a screen darkly popular culture, public diplomacy, and America's image abroad

By: Bayles, Martha.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New Heaven Yale University Press 2014Description: 325p. 25 cm.ISBN: 9780300123388.Subject(s): Popular culture -- American influences | Diplomacy | Popular culture -- United States -- Foreign public opinion | International relations -- History -- 21st century | Mass media and culture | HISTORY / Modern / 21st Century | HISTORY / United States / 20th Century | SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies | United States -- Foreign relations -- 21st century | United States -- Foreign public opinion | United States -- Social life and customs -- 1971- -- Foreign public opinionDDC classification: 303.48273 Summary: "What does the world admire most about America? Science, technology, higher education, consumer goods--but not, it seems, freedom and democracy. Indeed, these ideals are in global retreat, for reasons ranging from ill-conceived foreign policy to the financial crisis and the sophisticated propaganda of modern authoritarians. Another reason, explored for the first time in this pathbreaking book, is the distorted picture of freedom and democracy found in America's cultural exports. In interviews with thoughtful observers in eleven countries, Martha Bayles heard many objections to the violence and vulgarity pervading today's popular culture. But she also heard a deeper complaint: namely, that America no longer shares the best of itself. Tracing this change to the end of the Cold War, Bayles shows how public diplomacy was scaled back, and in-your-face entertainment became America's de facto ambassador. This book focuses on the present and recent past, but its perspective is deeply rooted in American history, culture, religion, and political thought. At its heart is an affirmation of a certain ethos--of hope for human freedom tempered with prudence about human nature--that is truly the aspect of America most admired by others. And its author's purpose is less to find fault than to help chart a positive path for the future"--
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Books Books O. P. Jindal Global University Library
303.48273 BA-T (Browse shelf) Available 016057

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"What does the world admire most about America? Science, technology, higher education, consumer goods--but not, it seems, freedom and democracy. Indeed, these ideals are in global retreat, for reasons ranging from ill-conceived foreign policy to the financial crisis and the sophisticated propaganda of modern authoritarians. Another reason, explored for the first time in this pathbreaking book, is the distorted picture of freedom and democracy found in America's cultural exports. In interviews with thoughtful observers in eleven countries, Martha Bayles heard many objections to the violence and vulgarity pervading today's popular culture. But she also heard a deeper complaint: namely, that America no longer shares the best of itself. Tracing this change to the end of the Cold War, Bayles shows how public diplomacy was scaled back, and in-your-face entertainment became America's de facto ambassador. This book focuses on the present and recent past, but its perspective is deeply rooted in American history, culture, religion, and political thought. At its heart is an affirmation of a certain ethos--of hope for human freedom tempered with prudence about human nature--that is truly the aspect of America most admired by others. And its author's purpose is less to find fault than to help chart a positive path for the future"--

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