© 2012

The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency

American Public Diplomacy, 1989–2001

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Nicholas J. Cull
    Pages 1-13
  3. Nicholas J. Cull
    Pages 65-119
  4. Nicholas J. Cull
    Pages 121-178
  5. Nicholas J. Cull
    Pages 179-192
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 193-257

About this book


Using newly declassified archives and interviews with practitioners, Nicholas J. Cull has pieced together the story of the final decade in the life of the United States Information Agency, revealing the decisions and actions that brought the United States' apparatus for public diplomacy into disarray.


cold war Diplomacy information interview state

About the authors

Nicholas J. Cull is a professor of Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

Bibliographic information


"In his scholarly and careful but always engaging and readable account of how the end of the Cold War precipitated the fall of the United States Information Agency, Nicholas J. Cull has not only given an account of the strengths and defects of public diplomacy in the first Bush administration and Clinton's two terms, but has also offered a deeper exploration of the role of government-sponsored information and culture in the modern world. I can think of no better way for citizens and public officials to explore such crucial questions than in Nick Cull's invigorating company."

Benjamin R. Barber, senior research scholar, Graduate Center, City University of New York and author of Jihad vs. McWorld

"In this excellent study about the unraveling of the USIA, Nick Cull once again shows the importance of studying the history of public diplomacy. He is a great storyteller with a keen eye for telling details and individuals' contributions to the shaping of US public diplomacy. He makes a convincing case for independent cultural agencies in the execution of public diplomacy."

Jan Melissen, director of research, Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Netherlands

"Nicholas J. Cull continues to produce authoritative, fascinating, and well-documented works on American public diplomacy in general and the USIA in particular. This book is required reading for any scholar, student, or official interested in the fields of American foreign policy, public diplomacy, and international communication."

Eytan Gilboa, director of the School of Communication and the Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University, Israel