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Crisis Management And Missed Opportunities: U.S. Public Diplomacy And The Creation Of The Third World, 1947–1950

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Chapter Summary

Case-studies in Latin America, South Asia, and the Korean regional theater illuminate the lunging American grasp of a public diplomacy practiced mainly as a reactive measure whose effectiveness was limited at best. In fairness to the Truman administration, gauging whether or not public diplomacy is succeeding is a surprisingly tall order, then as now. In this chapter, the effectiveness of U.S. public diplomacy is judged by whether or not it perceptibly hurt or helped Washington to achieve its stated strategic objectives. The chapter also engages the grand "unintended consequence" of its thesis- the birth of the "Third World"-that transcended shorter-term policy considerations. Each of the case-studies accents a key aspect of the early stages of U.S. public diplomacy. Cold War public diplomacy imposed a choice on the leaders of the embryonic bloc. Those leaders, already fighting for national independence, responded by essentially adding a second dimension to that struggle.

Keywords: Cold War public diplomacy; Korean regional theater; nationalist leaders; South Asia; Third World; Truman administration; U.S. public diplomacy; Washington



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