This introductory chapter first discusses the evolution of modernism from its image of rebellion and relentless pursuit of the new during the first half of the twentieth century into a weapon in the so-called “cultural Cold War” in the 1950s. Modernism came to be presented as a pro-Western, pro-“freedom,” and pro-bourgeois movement, evidence of the superiority of the Western way of life over Communism. The chapter then sets out the book's three aims: (i) to use original archival sources to document the diverse projects to disseminate American modernist art and literature abroad, particularly in Europe, in the period 1946—1959; (ii) to identify, synthesize, and analyze the rhetoric surrounding these projects, in particular how it attached seemingly incongruous American values such as freedom and individualism to modernist artworks; and (iii) to suggest that this rhetoric worked to “swerve” public understanding of modernism, deactivating or nullifying its associations with radicalism and antinomianism and making it safe for consumption by American middle-class audiences. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .