Enemies To AlliesCold War Germany and American Memory

Enemies To AlliesCold War Germany and American Memory

Brian C. Etheridge

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780813166407

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky


This book explores narratives of Germany in the United States, with a particular focus on the post–World War II period. It examines how a wide range of actors—including special interest groups and U.S. and West German policymakers—sought to deploy representations of Germany to influence public opinion and achieve their domestic and foreign policy objectives. The book analyzes cultural artifacts such as popular books, films, and television shows to reveal how narratives about the Third Reich and Cold War Germany were manufactured, contested, and co-opted as rival viewpoints competed for legitimacy. The book demonstrates the contingent nature of many of the powerful moral symbols associated with Germany in the postwar period. It uses theories drawn from public diplomacy and public memory to show how these narratives of Germany served as ways to understand not only American identity but international relations and state power.