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Culture matters

Anglo-American relations and the intangibles of ‘specialness’

Edited by Robert Hendershot and Steve Marsh

Culture matters
Hardcover

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5142-1
  • Pages: 312
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: October 2020
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Diplomacy, Society & social sciences / International relations, Politics, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Society & social sciences / Society & culture: general

Description

This book examines how intangible aspects of international relations - including identity, memory, representation, and symbolic perception - have helped to shape the development and contribute to the endurance of the Anglo-American special relationship. Challenging traditional interpretations of US-UK relations and breaking new ground with fresh analyses of cultural symbols, discourses, and ideologies, this volume fills important gaps in our collective understanding of the special relationship's operation and exposes new analytical spaces in which we can re-evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Designed to breathe new life into old debates about the relationship's purported specialness, this book offers a multidisciplinary exploration of literary representations, screen representations, political representations, representations in memory, and the influence of cultural connections and constructs which have historically animated Anglo-American interaction.

Reviews

'Since the 1960s, the cultural turn has transformed the academic study of politics and economics. Perhaps because it often focuses on the poor and the powerless, the cultural turn has been less prominent in diplomatic history. Consequently, the 11 authors whose essays make up Culture Matters are innovative in their exploration of the Anglo-American "special relationship," which encompasses P. G. Wodehouse, Hollywood, Downton Abbey, and Beatlemania, among other subjects. Sam Edwards's fascinating chapter looks at George Washington in "'A Great Englishman': George Washington and Anglo-American Memory Diplomacy, c. 1890-1925." Throughout the text, identity, memory, and symbolic representation crowd out traditional topics. For more on the cultural-turn context, Pedro Aires Oliveira, Bruno Cardoso Reis, and Patrick Finney's "The Cultural Turn and Beyond in International History" in The International History Review (2018) provides an overview, and Elizabeth T. Kenney, Sirpa Salenius, and Whitney Womack Smith's "Blurring Boundaries: Race and Transatlantic Identities in Culture and Society" offers an example of its application in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies (2016). The impressive volume under review shows how "culture matters to the vitality of the Anglo-American special relationship and to our understanding of it" (p. 271). Aimed at enlarging what has been a marginal field of study, it includes an extensive bibliography. '
CHOICE Magazine

Contents

Introduction - Robert M. Hendershot and Steve Marsh
1 Towards Something Fresh? P.G. Wodehouse, transatlantic romances in fiction and the Anglo-American relationship - Finn Pollard
2 America in 'British' history textbooks - Srdjan Vucetic
3 Film follows the flag: cultural and economic relations between the British film industry and Hollywood - Jonathan Stubbs
4 Debating Downton: Anglo-American realities and relations - Dana Cooper
5 Anglo-American political culture - Alan P. Dobson
6 Pageantry, legitimation, and special Anglo-American relations - Steve Marsh
7 'A great Englishman': George Washington and Anglo-American memory diplomacy, c. 1890-1925 - Sam Edwards
8 Anglo-American narratives in public space: evaluating commemoration and generational transmission of the special relationship - Robert M. Hendershot
9 Beatlemania and the cultural politics of 1960s America - Thomas C. Mills
10 Culture and re-membering the alliance in Kosovo and Iraq: Anglo-American ironies under Clinton, Blair, and Bush - David Ryan
Conclusion: culture, 'specialness', and new directions - Robert M. Hendershot and Steve Marsh
Selected bibliography
Index

Editors

Robert M. Hendershot is Professor of History in the Department of Social Sciences at Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan

Steve Marsh is Reader in International Relations at Cardiff University

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