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Foreign Relations As Domestic Affairs:The Role Of The "Public" In The Origins Of U.S. Public Diplomacy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains the role of the "public" in early conceptions of public diplomacy. The focus is on the propaganda component of public diplomacy. First, the chapter presents the story of the Office of War Information [OWI], the Roosevelt administration's wartime propaganda bureau, in order to explain the formation of the consensus that Benton and MacLeish articulated in 1945. Next, it focuses on the State Department's Office of Public Opinion Studies, run by the political scientist Schuyler Foster, to show how the State Department approached the problem of public opinion. The chapter further examines some of the reasons why the prospect of public participation in the policy process engendered intense and unrelenting hostility-from Congressional attacks on the OWI to Joseph McCarthy's investigation of the Voice of America-and what that hostility reveals about some of the dilemmas inherent to the practice of public diplomacy.

Keywords: ArchibaldMacLeish; Office of War Information [OWI]; President Roosevelt; public opinion studies; U.S. public diplomacy; William Benton



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