Propaganda and the Cold War: A Princeton University Symposium

Propaganda and the Cold War: A Princeton University Symposium

Propaganda and the Cold War: A Princeton University Symposium

Propaganda and the Cold War: A Princeton University Symposium

Excerpt

What is the role of American information, official and private, in the Cold War? How can our information policy become a more effective instrument for the advancement of the national interest? How can it better serve the cause of world security and peace? What special responsibilities can and should be assumed by American industry abroad?

These are the key questions to which this book is addressed. They were originally posed at a Princeton University conference held on March 15 and 16, 1962. The basic concerns of the conference were highlighted in these words:

"Dramatic developments have taken place in the field of international communication since the first World War. These developments are due mainly to: (1) the invention and general use of the new media, notably the radio; (2) new insights in the realm of mass psychology; (3) the realization of the importance of public opinion both in war and in peace. As a result, governments everywhere, to the limit of their understanding and their means, have developed the machines and the methods to influence their own and other populations, even to the ends of the earth.

"In this situation, the diplomatic arm of national power has diminished in importance relatively to the psychological arm. This new psychological instrument has exploded to new dimensions. No country in the world has been more alive to its potentialities than Soviet Russia. Many believe that in contrast with some of its most powerful adversaries, the United States has failed to take full advantage of the possibilities of the new weapon. It is even claimed that we have misunderstood, mistrusted and actually misapplied the 'fourth arm of statecraft'."

As was to be expected, most participants in the conference tended to stress those problems closest to their special interests. The result may have lost something in sequence, but it no doubt gained in content. It was, by all accounts, a good conference. No small part of its virtue lay in the disagreements it developed. But the formal and informal presentations of views under the general rubric of international communication were highly useful. In the pages of this book are the principal papers delivered by the participants.

It is the hope of the Princeton University Conference and of the . . .

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