Laura A. Belmonte


On her book Selling the American Way: U.S. Propaganda and the Cold War

Cover Interview of April 13, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“What role international perceptions of democratic capitalism had in the collapse of communism.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Propaganda campaign, no matter how well-crafted or thoughtful, will have its desired effect if the United States simultaneously contradicts its professed values, both at home and abroad.”

On the second:

“The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 had precluded American citizens from reading, seeing, or listening to the propaganda materials the U.S. government disseminated abroad. That legislation created some interesting challenges at the archives of the United States Information Agency. I was allowed to take notes on, but not photocopy, propaganda pamphlets from the 1940s and 1950s.”