Advertising America. The United States Information Service in Italy, 1945-1956 - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour Access content directly
Books Year : 2008

Advertising America. The United States Information Service in Italy, 1945-1956


Advertising America aims at reconstructing the work that the American information networks did in Italy in the Cold War, and at giving an account of its results based on previously unexplored archival sources. The subject is divided into two broad areas, one regarding policy and the history of American information services in general, and the other concentrating on the application of such policy in Italy, in the areas of journalism, radio broadcasting, and of the relationship with the local cultural elite. The chronological sequence highlights the particular changes in the development of the United States Information Servi- ce’s (USIS) policy in Italy in the period considered, contextualizing them within Italian-American relations and world affairs. The USIS officers and Voice of America (VOA) had been in Italy since the war years, and between 1945 and 1953 their first con- cern was to ‘advertise America’ to contain the communist threat. Hence it was initially decided to address the broader public, especially the huge audience of workers, who were most likely to be seduced by communists. The book accounts this early approach and is based on official papers held at the National Ar- chives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington DC, on VOA’s scripts held at NARA Northeast Region in New York, as well as on some publications that the USIS distributed in Italy in those years, such as Nuovo mondo, Mondo d’oggi and the daily bulletin for the press. Those very expensive methods clearly were not working. The change of direction came with the new American ambassador Clare Boothe Luce, who, between 1953 and 1956 radically altered the cultural policy for Italy. The recently declassified records of Clare Boothe Luce held at NARA in Washington DC, compared to those at the Library of Congress, were essential in the account of the transformation of Italian intellectuals into invaluable ammunition for the propaganda arsenal.


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Dates and versions

hal-02330907 , version 1 (24-10-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02330907 , version 1


Simona Tobia. Advertising America. The United States Information Service in Italy, 1945-1956. LED Edizioni Universitarie, pp.323, 2008, 978-88-7916-400-9. ⟨hal-02330907⟩


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