Date of Award

Fall 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Lorraine M. Lees

Committee Member

Austin Jersild

Committee Member

Carolyn Lawes

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H


This study examines the creation of the United States Information Agency (USIA) under the guidance of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and looks at the place of the Agency in the "New Look." The US Information Agency was an important "soft" tool in the American struggle with the Soviet Union for preponderant influence around the world and played a part in the American effort to maintain the balance between the Communist and Free worlds. This study takes a deeper look at the work of the Agency in two case studies, which examine the work of the USIA in France, a reluctant US ally, and India, a leading country in the Non-Aligned movement. These countries are of particular interest to this study because they both viewed the United States and the Soviet Union as moral equivalents and wished to remain independent from the Cold War conflict. Limited funding placed constraints on the Agency's ability to accomplish its goals in these countries. Too often, the American message failed to consider these countries point of view and the strong anti-Communist message of the US Information program contrasted sharply with the Soviet message of peace. The information program was most successful when it relied upon messages that were sensitive to these countries deeply held beliefs and when it utilized methods that were effective in reaching a large portion of the population.


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