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Cramer, Gisela; Prutsch, Ursula (eds.)
¡Américas unidas! Nelson A. Rockefeller's Office of Inter-American Affairs (1940-46).
Madrid / Frankfurt, 2012, Iberoamericana / Vervuert, 316 p., € 28.00
ISBN: 9788484896746
The contributions highlight different facets of the OIAA's wide range of operations, but they focus on those activities that aimed at influencing public opinion in support of overarching U.S. policy goals.
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This volume revisits one of the major efforts undertaken by the United States government to manage public opinion both at home and abroad. In 1940, as Nazi Germany was subjugating ever greater territories in Europe and beyond, the U.S. government sought to secure Latin America’s allegiance and assistance in the upcoming war. Through a newly established emergency agency, Nelson A. Rockefeller’s Office of Inter-American Affairs (OIAA), it underwrote a wide array of programs that were meant to mobilize public opinion in Latin America and the United States with a view to improve inter- American cooperation and understanding.

William H. Beezley, University of Arizona:
Gisela Cramer and Ursula Prutsch, as editors, have assembled an outstanding collection of essays on the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. Each of the eight contributors provides new information and significant analysis of the Rockefeller office, its imaginative use of the mass media contributing to changing views of Pan-Americanism, hemispheric popular culture, and “soft” diplomacy, with specific evaluation of movies, documentaries, and radio, as only three examples. This volume fills a major gap in the historiography by examining this agency as the nexus between the U.S. Good Neighbor policy and its Cold War cultural diplomacy, but above all as a major U.S. cultural agency and its interaction with the peoples of Latin America.