Projecting America, 1958

Film and Cultural Diplomacy at the Brussels World’s Fair


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About the Book

The Brussels World’s Fair was perhaps the most important propaganda event to be staged for European allies in the Eisenhower years; his administration viewed culture as a weapon in the battle against communism. This book examines the critical role of film in the information war waged against the Soviets in the American pavilion at the fair. The administration sought to create a visual rendition of America that was arresting and inspirational; film was used as a method of political persuasion.

About the Author(s)

Sarah Nilsen is an assistant professor of film and television studies at the University of Vermont. She has published articles on 1950s Disney culture and on issues of race and ethnicity in film and television.

Bibliographic Details

Sarah Nilsen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 210
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6154-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8537-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface      1

Introduction: The Brussels World’s Fair of 1958      9

1. Film and Cultural Diplomacy in the Early Cold War      27

2. America’s Salesman: Walt Disney’s USA in Circarama      60

3. Bug-Eye in South Pacific      81

4. Ribbon of Cold War Dreams: Touch of Evil’s European Premiere      106

5. The Visual Jazz of Shirley Clarke: Avant-Garde Cinema and the Department of State      125

6. Selling Good Design: IBM and the Films of Charles and Ray Eames      151

Bibliography      185

Index      195