New Deal Cowboy: Gene Autry and Public Diplomacy
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As the United States inched toward entry into World War II, the president’s focus shifted toward foreign policy. Autry responded by promoting Americanism, war preparedness, and friendly relations with Latin America. As a result, Duchemin argues, “Sergeant Gene Autry” played a unique role in making FDR’s internationalist policies more palatable for American citizens reluctant to engage in another foreign war.
New Deal Cowboy enhances our understanding of Gene Autry as a western folk hero who, during critical times of economic recovery and international crisis, readily assumed the role of public diplomat, skillfully using his talents to persuade a marginalized populace to embrace a nationalist agenda. By drawing connections between western popular culture and American political history, the book also offers valuable insight concerning the development of leisure and western tourism, the information industry, public diplomacy, and foreign policy in twentieth-century America.
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