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Martha Graham's Cold War : the dance of American diplomacy

Martha Graham's Cold War : the dance of American diplomacy / Victoria Phillips.
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2020]
Physical Description
458 pages, 24 pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Revision of author's thesis (doctoral)--Columbia University, 2013, titled Strange commodity of cultural exchange : Martha Graham and the State Department on tour, 1955-1987.
""I am not a propagandist," declared the matriarch of American modern dance Martha Graham while on her State Department funded-tour in 1955. Graham's claim inspires questions: the United States government exported Graham and her company internationally to over twenty-seven countries in Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Near and Far East, and Russia representing every seated president from Dwight D. Eisenhower through Ronald Reagan, and planned under George H.W. Bush. Although in the diplomatic field, she was titled "The Picasso of modern dance," and "Forever Modern" in later years, Graham proclaimed, "I am not a modernist." During the Cold War, the reconfigured history of modernism as apolitical in its expression of "the heart and soul of mankind," suited political needs abroad. In addition, she declared, "I am not a feminist," yet she intersected with politically powerful women from Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor Dulles, sister of Eisenhower's Dulles brothers in the State Department and CIA, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Betty Ford, and political matriarch Barbara Bush. While bringing religious characters on the frontier and biblical characters to the stage in a battle against the atheist communists, Graham explained, "I am not a missionary." Her work promoted the United States as modern, culturally sophisticated, racially and culturally integrated. To her abstract and mythic works, she added the trope of the American frontier. With her tours and Cold War modernism, Graham demonstrates the power of the individual, immigrants, republicanism, and, ultimately freedom from walls and metaphorical fences with cultural diplomacy with the unfettered language of movement and dance"-- Provided by publisher.
Other formats
Online version: Victoria, Phillips. Martha Graham's Cold War. New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2020]
Added to Catalog
June 15, 2020
Includes bibliographical references (pages [407]-429) and index.
How Martha Graham became a cultural ambassador : modernist on the frontier
"The new home of men" : modern Americana goes to Asia and the Middle East
"Dedicated to freedom" : Martha Graham in Berlin, 1957
The aging of a star in Camelot : Israel, Europe, and "behind the Iron Curtain," 1962
Triumphing over "exhaustion," 1963-1974
"Forever modern" : from ashes to ambassador in Asia, 1974
"Grahamized and Americanized" : the defector joins the first lady on the global stage
"And Martha knew how to play that" : from détente to disco in Jimmy Carter's Middle East, 1979
Dancing along the wall : Graham, Reagan, and the reunification of Berlin, 1987-1989.

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