The Best of All Possible Worlds. USA 1949-1959: God’s Own Country
Keywords:Marshall Plan, Cold War, Peter Harnden, The Caravan of Peace Exhibition, Atoms for Peace Exhibition
After the 1945 atomic bombings over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the awareness of the two world super powers – USA-URSS – that conventional arm would have not been adequate anymore for political confrontation, led the two opposite blocks to the Cold War, fought almost exclusively on the basis of persuasion. Following WWII, the US, having to face the quick and unwanted unfolding of communism over the rubles and ruins of Europe, decided to organize their own propaganda machine to contrast the Soviet “soft power”. This paper intends to deal with the persuasive intent delivered by the US – with Shows, Exhibitions, International Fair and the help of the whole government apparatus – in order to convincingly popularize the advantages of their way of living throughout the world. It will be pointed out how, in cultural and anthropological terms, such initiatives led to the penetration of American culture, a sort of colonization, all over the world. An enormous endeavor of persuasion aimed to inform and convince that what the American way of life could secure to everybody would have been, amongst other things, a prosperous world of freedom, the best of all possible worlds.
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