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Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad

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Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 authors purpose is less to find fault than to help chart a positive path for the future.

Synopsis:

Why it is a mistake to let commercial entertainment serve as America's de facto ambassador to the world

About the Author

Martha Bayles is the author of Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music. Her reviews and essays on the arts, media, and cultural policy have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Boston Globe, Weekly Standard, and many other publications. She teaches humanities at Boston College.
 

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300123388
Author:
Bayles, Martha
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20140131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad New Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300123388 Reviews:
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Why it is a mistake to let commercial entertainment serve as America's de facto ambassador to the world
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