Social politics in a transoceanic world in the early Cold War years
Bell, J. W. (2010) Social politics in a transoceanic world in the early Cold War years. The Historical Journal, 53 (2). pp. 401-421. ISSN 0018-246X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1017/S0018246X10000075
This article argues that those termed 'liberals' in the United States had the opportunity in the late 1940's to use overseas case studies to reshape the ramshackle political agenda of the New Deal along more specifically social democratic lines, but hat they found it impossible to match interest in the wider world with a concrete programme to overcome tension between left-wing politics and the emerging anti-totalitarianism of the Cold War. The American right, by contrast, conducted a highly organised publicity drive to provide new meaning for their anti-statist ideology in a post-New Deal, post-isolationist United States by using perceived failures of welfare states overseas as domestic propaganda. The examples of Labour Britain after 1945 and Labour New Zealand both provided important case studies for American liberals and conservatives, but in the Cold War it was the American right who would benefit most from an ideologically driven repackaging of overseas social policy for an American audience.
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