Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, Public Diplomacy, 1917-1972, Volume VIII, Public Diplomacy, 1969–1972
In 2007, historians at the Office of the Historian proposed a retrospective series of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) volume designed to augment the series’ coverage of U.S. public diplomacy. While the FRUS series began to document the subject in a sustained and concerted way starting with the second administration of President Richard M. Nixon, previous FRUS coverage of U.S. public diplomacy efforts have been far less consistent. These retrospective volumes will fill that gap, which stretches from the First World War to the early 1970s. Resource constraints and the statutory requirement to publish Foreign Relations volumes 30 years after the events that they cover mean that compilations in this volume have been researched and compiled piecemeal over a longer period of time than the typical FRUS volume. Fortunately, progress is being made. During the fall of 2014, the Office released the compilation covering the U.S. Government’s public diplomacy efforts from 1917 to 1919. Subsequent compilations, which will document up to the end of the first Nixon administration, will be published as they are completed.
This compilation, covering the years 1969 to 1972, focuses on the Nixon administration’s efforts to manage public diplomacy during Nixon’s first term in office. It describes how the United States Information Agency (USIA) worked to present U.S. foreign policy objectives to the world during a time of social change within the United States and how USIA attempted to reach new audiences, specifically young adults. The volume chronicles the development of new structures within USIA, including the Executive Committee (ExComm) and the Young Officers’ Policy Panel (YOPP). It depicts how the Agency commemorated the Apollo 11 moon landing, took part in the Women’s Strike for Equality, and planned for the U.S. Bicentennial celebration. The compilation also illustrates how USIA and the Department of State pursued public diplomacy against the backdrop of the Vietnam war, the President’s 1972 trip to China, and the 1972 Moscow summit. Additional documentation chronicles the Department of State’s cultural exchange activities, including administration of the Art in Embassies program and the Cultural Presentations program. The volume should be read in conjunction with Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume XXXVIII, Part 2, Organization and Management of Foreign Policy; Public Diplo[Page X]macy, 1973-1976, which contains a chapter on international information policy, public diplomacy, and cultural affairs.