The Ben Pimlott Memorial Lecture 2017

The geopolitical is personal: India, Britain, and American Foreign Correspondents in the 1930s and 1940s

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This lecture explores the shared terrain between the new international history and the history of emotions. In the summer and fall of 1942, American foreign correspondents played a key role in sparking a furore over British rule in India. Drawing on their own first-hand reporting from India, they depicted the British Empire as retrograde and abusive, a dangerous, destabilizing force and a threat to the post-war peace. Diagnosing what it called 'a new landslide of anti-British feeling', the British Ministry of Information spearheaded the formation of highlevel, interdepartmental, secret committee charged with the task of figuring out how to reconcile Americans to the British Empire. What they found was that the job itself was impossible: a significant proportion of Americans 'whose views, they concluded, were driven in large measure by emotion' would not under any circumstances soften their opinions about the British Empire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-410
Number of pages23
JournalTwentieth Century British History
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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India
1940s
British Empire
Foreign Correspondents
Memorial
1930s
Ministry
Threat
History of Emotions
Proportion
International History
Furore
Emotion
Summer
Peace
British Rule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History

Cite this

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