By Edward Corse
A conflict for impartial Europe describes and analyses the forgotten tale of the British government's cultural propaganda association, the British Council, in its crusade to win the hearts and minds of individuals in impartial Europe through the moment international struggle. The e-book attracts on more than a few formerly unused fabric from records from throughout Europe and personal memoirs to supply a distinct perception into the paintings of the major British artists, scientists, musicians and different cultural figures who travelled to Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey at nice own danger to advertise British lifestyles and suggestion in a time of battle.
Edward Corse indicates how the British Council performed a sophisticated yet an important function in Britain's battle attempt and attracts jointly the teachings of the British Council event to supply a brand new version of cultural propaganda.
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Additional info for A battle for neutral Europe : British cultural propaganda during the Second World War
39 However, it was as clear to the British Government as it was to many observers, that both the Axis powers and France (first as a British ally, then under the guise of the Vichy Regime) were going to be conducting propaganda abroad in a variety of ways – both politically and culturally. Just by being there, located on neutral territory, would be very much a political statement that they expected to be listened to, which would have an impact in some way on the local populations. The Axis powers would be very keen to take the initiative and take their message to neutral peoples in this way, and, either convince them to join the war when it came, or ensure their neutrality was benevolent towards the Axis.
In the war itself there was the more important aim of keeping these right-wing dictators out of the war, rather than presenting a full picture of British culture – both high and popular – to the diverse audiences in the countries where the Council operated. While this pragmatism would be understandable during the war itself, it does seem to be somewhat paradoxical that Labour MPs would support an elite targeting organization during the pre-war period. Perhaps Labour MPs thought it best to work with an organization which may not immediately correspond with their aims but could be morphed over time to be a more mass targeting establishment once they were in a position of power.
High culture being promoted to elites could be effective (on the assumption that it was promoted well). Mass audiences (in Britain or indeed abroad) were unlikely ever to see the value of the British Council promoting high culture however well it was presented as they were not the intended audience. Lord Beaverbrook in particular, and the late Lord Northcliffe’s family (both Lords had been active in the British propaganda campaign in First World War), knew this perfectly well. Beaverbrook in particular 32 A Battle for Neutral Europe knew that focusing on the ‘snobbish’ elements of the Council’s work was more likely to sell newspapers to a mass audience (an audience to whom the Council’s propaganda was not aimed and would therefore irritate), and provide momentum to his view that the Council should be closed down.