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George Washington and Anglo-American memory diplomacy, c.1890–1925
Sam Edwards

Sam Edwards describes the period 1890–1925 as the first age of transatlantic memory diplomacy, a period in which the potential of commemoration as a mechanism through which to strengthen Anglo-American ties was first explored. Focusing on British efforts to re-Anglicize George Washington, he analyzes the placement of a new statue of the first US president outside London’s National Gallery as well as the rededication and memorialization of Sulgrave Manor, Washington’s ancestral family estate in Northamptonshire. Of particular interest to Edwards is the agency of both government elites and private associations, particularly the US National Society of Colonial Dames, and he perspicaciously dissects the intersections of gender roles, racial constructs, social class, strategic objectives, and patriotic identities that determined the goals and methods of commemoration in this era.

in Culture matters
Srdjan Vucetic

Finn Pollard explores P. G. Wodehouse’s early twentieth-century fiction and charts the evolution of the famous author’s portrayals of the United States and its people from his initial use of common archetypes to much more complicated themes and character relationships, including Anglo-American friendships as well as romantic entanglements. Pollard delves into the period influences that contributed to this evolution, including the boys’ school story, the nature of London theatre, and Anglo-American romance novels, and seeks to illuminate why Wodehouse’s British and American characters mingled with increasing ease, were at times treated as interchangeable, and asserted a mutually positive relationship. Ultimately, this exploration of popular literature suggests readers in both countries were increasingly exposed to a new, influential, and warmer narrative of Anglo-American relations in the period preceding the Great War.

in Culture matters
Evaluating commemoration and generational transmission of the special relationship
Robert M. Hendershot

Robert Hendershot investigates a broader pattern of Anglo-American ‘places of memory’ on both sides of the Atlantic to demonstrate how historical markers, statues of historic figures, and churches have been used to create and preserve, via generational transmission, notions of an Anglo-American imagined community. Exploring the government agendas behind (and popular reception of) a hegemonic Anglo-American narrative designed to celebrate US–UK cooperation and cement perceptions of collective culture, Hendershot illustrates how a heavily manipulated but influential version of the past has become physically as well as rhetorically ambient in both nations.

in Culture matters
Alan P. Dobson

Alan Dobson examines the ideological foundations of Anglo-American relations by addressing the idea of a common Anglo-American political culture. Via a nuanced analysis of key works of philosophy, economics, and political theory that have shaped the perspectives and histories of both countries across two centuries, he demonstrates that British and American versions of liberal political doctrine overlap and are so central to both nation’s political traditions that they have transcended national boundaries. Presenting evidence of a transatlantic dialogue through the temporal progression of political debates in each country, Dobson demonstrates that British and American political cultures are and always have been speaking to one another.

in Culture matters
Thomas C. Mills

Tom Mills considers the impact of transatlantic cultural crosscurrents though analysis of the Beatles’ 1964 conquest of the American popular music market and the apex of the cultural phenomenon known as Beatlemania. Placing Anglo-American musical transference into context with US consumer capitalism, the bourgeoning youth movement, and increasingly turbulent gender and racial politics, Mills reveals how Beatlemania fundamentally challenged many social norms of the era even while the group’s humor and charm, as well as American perceptions of British respectability, helped to mask its culturally subversive elements from the white American middle class.

in Culture matters
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Culture, ‘specialness,’ and new directions
Robert M. Hendershot and Steve Marsh
in Culture matters
Anglo-American ironies under Clinton, Blair, and Bush
David Ryan

David Ryan assesses the ways in which the Western military interventions in Kosovo (1999) and Iraq (2003) were influenced by Anglo-American efforts to manipulate collective memory. Explaining how narratives of the special relationship employed by British prime minister Tony Blair and US presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were augmented by civilizational discourse and memories of past Anglo-American partnership, Ryan demonstrates how strategic concerns, foreign policy, and domestic politics were shaped by systems of meaning that had the ability to both empower and constrain, and bind or blind, British and American leaders.

in Culture matters
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Anglo-American relations and the intangibles of ‘specialness’

This book examines how intangible aspects of international relations – including identity, memory, representation, and symbolic perception – have helped to stimulate and sustain the Anglo-American special relationship. Drawing together world-leading and emergent scholars, this volume breaks new ground by applying the theories and methodologies of the ‘cultural turn’ in diplomatic history to the study of Anglo-American relations. It contends that matters of culture have been far more important to the special relationship than previously allowed in a field hitherto dominated by interest-based interpretations of American and British foreign policies. Fresh analyses of cultural symbols, discourses, and ideologies fill important gaps in our collective understanding of the special relationship’s operation and expose 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 roles of cultural connections and constructs that have historically influenced elite decision-making and sculpted popular attitudes toward and expectations of the special relationship. This book will be of particular interest to students and informed readers of Anglo-American relations, foreign policy, and diplomatic history, as well as all those who are interested in the power of culture to impact international relations.

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Anglo-American realities and relations
Dana Cooper

Dana Cooper assesses the cultural power of television in her analysis of Anglo-American narratives within the PBS series Downton Abbey, which became a financial success as well as a cultural phenomenon following its launch in 2010. Pointing out that the show’s aristocratic central family is inspired by the historical ‘dollar princesses,’ the hundreds of wealthy American women who married British men between 1865 and 1945, Cooper scrutinizes how the fictional characters, their dialogue, and their biases reflect American perceptions of themselves and their cultural cousins, and vice versa, and questions just how Anglo-American identity differences transitioned over time from sources of tension to sources of popular entertainment.

in Culture matters
Cultural and economic relations between the British film industry and Hollywood
Jonathan Stubbs

Jon Stubbs engages with the complex relationship between the British and American film industries on multiple levels, demonstrating their dynamic but highly asymmetrical interaction through history, the resulting energetic cultural dialogue between the two nations, and the ways in which economic interests and government policy have influenced cultural representation. By examining the ways in which the national film industries grew intertwined in the interwar period, the impact of the First World War on Anglo-American film relations and alliance politics, and the postwar protectionist policies and internationalization of the movie business, Stubbs analyzes the ways in which the long unequal relationship between the US and UK film industries has nevertheless left the nations financially and culturally entangled.

in Culture matters