To Win the Peace: British Propaganda in the United States during World War II

Synopsis

Between 1942 and 1945, the British government conducted a propaganda campaign in the United States to create popular consensus for a postwar Anglo-American partnership. Anticipating an Allied victory, British officials feared American cooperation would end with the war. Susan A. Brewer provides the first study of Britain's attempts to influence an American public skeptical of postwar international commitment, even as the United States was replacing Britain as the leading world power. Brewer discusses the concerns and strategies of the British propagandists--journalists, professors, and businessmen--who collaborated with the generally sympathetic American media. She examines the narratives they used to link American and British interests on such controversial issues as the future of the empire and economic recovery. In analyzing the barriers to Britain's success, she considers the legacy of World War I, and the difficulty of conducting propaganda in a democracy. Propaganda did not prevent the transition of global leadership from the British Empire to the United States, Brewer asserts, but it did make that transition work in Britain's interest.