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Perceptions of success: the United States, Italy and political warfare, 1945-1948

Mistry, Kaeten D. (2008)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The thesis analyses US foreign policy toward Italy in the postwar period by considering the multi-faceted nature of the relationship between the countries. It looks at the motivations and challenges facing American visions of a stable anti-communist Italy, as well at the hopes and limitations facing Italian interlocutors in their interaction with the US hegemon. In analysing the overlaps and dissimilarities between policy toward the country and broader approaches in Europe, it explores how the Cold War shaped the US attitude toward Italy and how Italy influenced American conceptualisation of the Cold War. With particular focus on the attempt to bolster anti-communist groups before the first Italian national election in April 1948, it charts the emergence of a perception of success within the Truman Administration vis-à-vis the effectiveness of its efforts to prevent a communist ascension to power. Confident that they had shaped the election outcome, US officials considered intervention as an inaugural case of ‘Political Warfare,’ which was defined as the use of ‘all means short of war’ to achieve national objectives. Such perceptions were significant for how American officials considered events in Italy during the previous years, while it held important ramifications for the future, problematic, trajectory of US-Italian relations and ongoing American efforts to engage in organised Political Warfare.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Lucas, W. Scott
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of American and Canadian Studies
Additional Information:

A revised and updated version of this work is published as

The United States, Italy and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare 1945–1950
ISBN: 9781107035089

Keywords:US foreign policy; Cold War; Italy; 1948 Italian election; Political Warfare; strategy; means short of war; Kennan
Subjects:DG Italy
E151 United States (General)
D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:133
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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