By Edward Corse
A conflict for impartial Europe describes and analyses the forgotten tale of the British government's cultural propaganda association, the British Council, in its crusade to win the hearts and minds of individuals in impartial Europe in the course of the moment international warfare. The publication attracts on a variety of formerly unused fabric from data from throughout Europe and personal memoirs to supply a special perception into the paintings of the major British artists, scientists, musicians and different cultural figures who travelled to Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey at nice own probability to advertise British lifestyles and proposal in a time of struggle.
Edward Corse indicates how the British Council performed a refined yet an important position in Britain's conflict attempt and attracts jointly the teachings of the British Council adventure to provide a brand new version of cultural propaganda.
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Extra resources for A battle for neutral Europe : British cultural propaganda during the Second World War
The ‘puff ’ direct is not sufficient, you have to begin further back; you must train your public to appreciate English taste and English goods. For this purpose, cultural influence is also important. Other nations are working hard in this direction. America is offering free education in engineering and other departments to South American youths who will go to the United States for three to four years; France has developed an intensive cultural propaganda, sending every year distinguished professors to South America to carry out a course of lectures on literary and scientific subjects.
The Council’s concentration on the elites produced one consistent theme of criticism. Many have viewed this concentration as a problem because it missed out a large section, indeed the majority section, of British society and therefore produces a distorted image of Britain to foreign countries. Other critics have usually questioned the value of cultural propaganda in any sense, high or popular. The Daily Mirror, which was aimed at a mass working class readership, ran an article in November 1944 which crystallized the essence of many of the complaints about the British Council’s work in both its early years, and the wartime period, and reinforced the impression that the British Council was providing a skewed ‘high culture’ image Learning from the Past 31 of Britain to foreign elites, and was not worth supporting.
First, it genuinely wanted to satisfy interest (and create it, if it did not already exist) in British culture within the neutral populations. It has already been discussed what type of neutral person the Council was aiming at – that is, the elites – and it will be discussed in later chapters how far that interest already existed in neutral populations, and how those populations reacted to the British Council’s activities. As has already been mentioned, it was a reasonable assumption that there would be some kind of interest in the background of Britain as the only country holding out militarily against Germany for a significant proportion of the war.
A battle for neutral Europe : British cultural propaganda during the Second World War by Edward Corse