The American Press and the Cold War

The Rise of Authoritarianism in South Korea, 1945–1954

  • Oliver Elliott

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 1-25
  3. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 27-65
  4. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 97-119
  5. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 121-149
  6. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 151-174
  7. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 175-196
  8. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 197-216
  9. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 217-227
  10. Oliver Elliott
    Pages 229-231
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 233-254

About this book


During the Cold War, the United States enabled the rise of President Syngman Rhee’s repressive government in South Korea, and yet neither the American occupation nor Rhee’s growing authoritarianism ever became particularly controversial news stories in the United States. Could the press have done more to scrutinize American actions in Korea? Did journalists fail to act as an adequate check on American power? In the first archive-based account of how American journalism responded to one of the most significant stories in the history of American foreign relations, Oliver Elliott shows how a group of foreign correspondents, battling U.S. military authorities and pro-Rhee lobbyists, brought the issue of South Korean authoritarianism into the American political mainstream on the eve of the Korean War. However, when war came in June 1950, the press rapidly abandoned its scrutiny of South Korean democracy, marking a crucial moment of transition from the era of postwar idealism to the Cold War norm of American support for authoritarian allies.


The Korean War Syngman Rhee Cold War history American Press U.S.-ROK relations American journalism South Korea's independence North Korean invasion Korean democracy American occupation of Korea authoritarian regimes American foreign policy history of American media Diplomatic history American public opinion history of American journalism American foreign affairs journalism media-government relations U.S. attitudes towards Asia US foreign interventions

Authors and affiliations

  • Oliver Elliott
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarBarcelonaSpain

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-76022-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-76023-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site