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Explorations in Culture and International History
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Empire of Pictures
Global Media and the 1960s Remaking of American Foreign Policy
276 pages, 15 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-842-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2015)
ISBN 978-1-78920-057-7 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (November 2018)
eISBN 978-1-78238-843-2 eBook
“Kunkel provides an empirically grounded framework for understanding the United States as an imperial power that cultivated recognition through pictures.” • Diplomatic History
“…a perceptive and well-researched tour of how political leaders realized the utility of the picture and made conscious efforts to take advantage of its power.” • American Historical Review
“… fascinating and easy to read, well researched and nicely illustrated. Kunkel has made a very good contribution to the still growing field of visual history.” • H-Soz-Kult
“[This study] provides a cogent history of how US policymakers came to understand the importance of the image to building and consolidating post-Second World War global rule. Offering what he terms ‘a sensory history of American empire’, Kunkel documents how pictures worked to facilitate American empire building – and then, by the late 1960s, how pictures helped to undermine that very process.” • Journal of Contemporary History
“I very much enjoyed reading this book—I found it compelling, original in approach, and steeped in fascinating historical detail. It places the symbolic and emotional power of images at the heart of a study into U.S. public diplomacy, but also internationalizes a visual history which takes the spotlight away from the more familiar American domestic media.” • Katy Parry, University of Leeds
In Cold War historiography, the 1960s are often described as a decade of mounting diplomatic tensions and international social unrest. At the same time, they were a period of global media revolution: communication satellites compressed time and space, television spread around the world, and images circulated through print media in expanding ways. Examining how U.S. policymakers exploited these changes, this book offers groundbreaking international research into the visual media battles that shaped America's Cold War from West Germany and India to Tanzania and Argentina.
Sönke Kunkel is Professor of North American History at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Free University of Berlin. His publications include two edited volumes and numerous essays on U.S. foreign policy. He was research fellow at the universities of Oxford, Harvard, Ohio State, and Jacobs University Bremen.