John Courtney Murray, Time/Life, and the American Proposition

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9780929891156: John Courtney Murray, Time/Life, and the American Proposition
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In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous "Four Freedoms" speech. In that speech, FDR set forth a vision for the reengineering of societies around the globe. The means was psychological warfare, involving the manipulation of ideas, words and symbols to divide target societies and convince these societies of the ideology that formed America. The most important society America targeted was the Roman Catholic Church. Media mogul Henry R. Luce, founder and publisher of enormously influential magazines like Time and Life, used the CIA's doctrinal warfare program to turn the Catholic Church into a promoter of American ideas. This struggle reached its culmination at the Second Vatican Council with the promulgation of the document Declaration on Religious Liberty. Catholic doctrine did not change, but, defeated at the Council, the Americanists used their media power to win the battle over who got to interpret the Council with significant consequences for both the world and the Catholic Church, whose leadership came to espouse the doctrines of Liberalism something its leadership had condemned just a few years earlier.

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"David A. Wemhoff has devoted 990 pages of meticulous and pains-taking research to illustrate his proposition that America sought to recruit the world's religions as part of a strategy to disseminate American ideology around the world during the Cold War. His focus is on the Roman Catholic Church, which not only had a global presence, but one accessible leader who shared with the United States a mutual antipathy toward Communism and the Soviet Union. Key to this process was the publisher Henry Luce..... Wemhoff points to the curious fact that despite Murray's undoubted significance there has yet to appear a biography. Wemhoff speculates that there is a reluctance to address a 'dangerous' topic that would expose Murray's connections with American intelligence and his support for the efforts of the American establishment 'to conquer the Church'. (p 894) Perhaps. But now that Wemhoff has raised so many contentious issues and identified such a wealth of archival sources replete with intriguing correspondence, it seems highly likely that enterprising scholars will pay far more attention to Murray and, indeed, to church-state relations more generally....At the same time, his research is an important contribution to that of a cohort of scholars addressing the religious component in America's Cold War, divided by whether it reflected American ambition and interests or American goodness and morality. Wemhoff's work certainly reinforces the arguments of the former."----Dr. Dianne Kirby, Reader of History, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

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David A. Wemhoff
Published by Fidelity Press (2015)
ISBN 10: 0929891155 ISBN 13: 9780929891156
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