The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in by Richard T. Arndt

By Richard T. Arndt

Over the last 5 many years, U.S. cultural international relations courses have withered due to politics and injuries of background that experience subordinated cultural international relations to public kin campaigning, now known as “public diplomacy.” With anti-Americanism at the upward push around the world, cultural international relations may still develop into a right away precedence, yet politicians proceed to disregard this rather low-cost, age-old instrument for selling knowing between countries. Richard Arndt probes the heritage of yankee cultural international relations to illustrate its useful previous contributions and to make a plea for reviving it for the longer term. Cultural relatives take place obviously among humans in several international locations due to exchange, tourism, scholar exchanges, leisure, communications, migration, intermarriage—millions of cross-cultural encounters. yet cultural international relations merely occurs while a central authority comes to a decision to channel and to help cultural alternate via deliberate courses to advertise extensive nationwide pursuits. the 1st hotel of Kings examines the 1st 8 many years of formal U.S. cultural international relations, from its tentative beginnings in international warfare I throughout the Nineties. Arndt additionally compares America’s efforts with these of alternative countries and enriches his narrative via detailing the pro reviews of the boys and ladies who've represented American democracy, schooling, mind, paintings, and literature to the remainder of the realm. His paintings indicates that this discussion of yank tradition and schooling with the remainder of the realm is neither a frill nor a household political hindrance yet is the inner most cornerstone of a good, forward-looking U.S. international coverage. Arndt argues that, quite within the wake of the Iraq conflict, the US needs to revive its cultural international relations courses as a long term funding in overseas goodwill and realizing.

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Daniel Coit Gilman at Johns Hopkins and Andrew White at Cornell built the American research university on the basis of what they and tens of thousands of Americans had learned abroad, most often at Humboldt’s great university in Berlin. In the US colleges each American scholar-teacher of foreign culture—like Longfellow—was a personal cultural diplomat, a tiny chip in the mosaic of American internationalist learning and culture. After the Civil War, an enlightened Congress recognized that US higher education could only be built with European help; the US Office of Education (USOE) would stimulate and channel the private flow of scholars and students.

As French students flowed abroad to foreign universities, foreigners were welcomed in France. A ‘‘student hostel’’ for foreigners called the Colle`ge des Quatre Nations opened in Paris; Strasbourg by the eighteenth century counted two hundred Russians among its foreign students—all part of a cosmopolitan remake of France’s mind and mien. The same ................. 11169$ $CH1 06-09-06 09:46:59 PS PAGE 8 C u l t u r a l D i p l o m a c y f r o m t h e B r o n z e A g e t o Wo r l d Wa r I 9 cultural strategy was carried on by Henry IV and two powerful Cardinal princes, Richelieu and Mazarin, who was himself an Italian import.

Like Montaigne, these men read for practical ends, applying what they read to what they saw around them. This was especially useful in Paris, where American diplomatic practice began. Franklin’s ingenuity—more, his genius—won French support for the American war of liberation; Jefferson opened trade channels ................. 11169$ $CH1 06-09-06 09:47:00 PS PAGE 10 C u l t u r a l D i p l o m a c y f r o m t h e B r o n z e A g e t o Wo r l d Wa r I 11 and purchased the American West. Speaking French after a fashion and learning by trial and error, these men set two distinct styles for formal US diplomacy—Franklin leading from his worldwide scientific reputation, his wit, his guile, and a touch of theater, and Jefferson, from his handson experience of shaping democracy, impeccable diplomatic behavior, wise political counsel, intellectual curiosity, and shrewd eye for France’s landholdings.

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