'British propoganda brought America to the brink of war, and left it to the Japanese and Hitler to finish the job.' So concludes Nicholas Cull in this absorbing study of how the United States was transformed from isolation to belligerence in the years before the attack on Pearl Harbor. From the moment it realized that all was lost without American aid, the British Government employed a host pf persuasive tactics to draw the U. S. to its rescue. With the help of talents as varied as those of matinee idol Leslie Howard, Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin and society photographer Cecil Beaton, no section of America remained untouched and no method - from Secret Service intrigue to the publication of horrifying pictures of Nazi
attrocities - remained untried. A fascinating story of how a foreign country promoted America's involvement in its greatest war, Selling War will appeal to all those interested in the modern cultural and political history of Britain in the twentieth century and World War II. The Kirkus Review wrote, 'A valuable study of how British propoganda helped to bring the U. S. into W. W. II...This is a sensible thoughtful, and - in revealing the foibles of many key actors - an often amusing book.'
Readership: General readers and historians, political scientists and communications specialists.
Nicholas John Cull, Lecturer, University of Birmingham, UK
"Cull records in fascinating detail the activities of a small group of dedicated individuals who coalesced around what became the New York-based British Information Services." - Anthony G. Pazzanita, Journal of Strategic Studies
"A major study of Britain's potent efforts to get a reluctant United States to fight." - International Herald Tribune
"A brilliant original study" - Donald Cameron Watt, The Independent
"An excellent account of the influence of British propaganda in leading America from neutrality in 1939 to intervention in World War II in 1941 ... The book is extremely well-written, and it is full of perceptive insights into the formation of the wartime Anglo-American special relationship." - American Studies in Europe
"Working from an impressive array of sources including interviews and, unusually, Canadian archives, Nicholas Cull...makes a quite convincing case for strong British influence in the direction of U.S. foreign policy between 1939 and 1941...By adopting an all-encompassing and yet detailed approach to the topic, Cull has bridged a serious gap in academic knowledge." - History
"exhaustively researched and well-written book ... His study leaves virtually no significant question either unraised or unanswered. A particularly enlightening and definitive work. Cull possesses exceptional talent as a historian, and he does great credit to Taylor, under whose guidance this study was originally undertaken as a Ph.D. thesis at Leeds University." - Robert Cole, Utah State University, American Historical Review, June 1996
"magnificent ... Using an impressive range of sources from both sides of the Atlantic, including interviews with many of the most prominent surviving actors involved, Cull traces the parallel development of British propaganda towards the United States ... This is populist history, a readable story elegantly written. A highly recommended book which contributes to a more rounded history of alliance relationships in World War II, and serves as a useful prelude to a consideration of Anglo-American propaganda during the Cold War." - Gary D. Rawnsley, University of Nottingham, Intelligence & National Security, Vol. 12, No. 2, April '97