Truth is the best propaganda In March 1961, America's most prominent journalist, Edward R. Murrow,ended a quarter-century career with the Columbia BroadcastingSystem to join the administration of John F. Kennedy as director ofthe United States Information Agency (USIA). Charged with promotinga positive image abroad, the agency sponsored overseas researchprograms, produced documentaries, and operated the Voice of Americato spread the country's influence throughout the world. As director ofthe USIA, Murrow hired African Americans for top spots in the agencyand leveraged his celebrity status at home to challenge all Americansto correct the scourge of domestic racism that discouraged developingcountries, viewed as strategic assets, from aligning with the West.Using both overt and covert propaganda programs, Murrow forgeda positive public image for Kennedy administration policies in anunsettled era that included, the rise of the Berlin Wall, the CubanMissile Crisis, and support for Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem. Murrow'sCold War tackles an understudied portion of Murrow's life, revealshow one of America's most revered journalists improved the globalperception of the United States, and exposes the importance of publicdiplomacy in the advancement of U.S. foreign policy.
Gregory M. Tomlin has served as an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy at West Point, USA. A career army officer, he has served in Germany, Korea, Kosovo, Iraq, as well as the WhiteHouse as a military social aide for the Obama administration. Tomlinis the coauthor of The Gods of Diyala: Transfer of Command in Iraq.