Essays

CineasteMy shorter writings span several distinct areas which draw on, but also move beyond, the topics of my books.

  • Postwar occupation– as a lived experience and as a culturally mediated phenomenon
  • War and the media, from the nineteenth century to the present
  • Cold war culture, prisoners of war, defectors, and brainwashing
  • Colonial counterinsurgency

I have written for scholarly journals ranging across several disciplines — from cultural & diplomatic history to American Studies, International Relations and Media Studies.

My essays and criticism have also appeared in magazines aimed at wider audiences beyond academia. I’m a contributing writer for Cineaste, America’s leading magazine on the art and politics of cinema. I’ve also written for The Common Reader and National Forum, and from 1995 to 2004 was a regular book reviewer for the Times Higher Education Supplement. An essay excerpted from The Good Occupation appears in the Jan/Feb 2017 Issue of World War II Magazine and online at HistoryNet.com.

Articles

Calling the shots: American Sniper, Populist Cinema and Unpopular War,” Ácoma – Rivista Internazionale di Studi Nord-Americani (an Italian journal of American Studies) (Oct. 2016), pp. 48-65.

“Why Can’t We See Insurgents? Enmity, Invisibility and Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Photography and Culture, 8, ii (July 2015), pp.191-211

“‘Produce More Joppolos’: John Hersey’s A Bell for Adano and the Making of the ‘Good Occupation,’” Journal of American History, 100 (March 2014), pp.1086-1113 

“No One’s Looking: The Disappearing Audience for War,” Media, War & Conflict, 1, i (2008), pp.71-77

“Between Camps: Eastern Bloc ‘Escapees’ and Cold War Borderlands,” American Quarterly, 57, iii (Fall 2005), pp.911-42

“Bringing It All Back Home: Hollywood Returns to War,” Small Wars and Insurgencies, 13, iv (2003), pp.167-182; reprinted in Thomas R. Mockaitis and Paul B. Rich, Grand Strategy in the War against Terrorism (Frank Cass, 2003), pp.167-82

“Compulsory Viewing: Concentration Camp Film and German Re-education,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 30, iii (Dec. 2001), pp.733-759

“Redeeming the Captives: Hollywood and the Brainwashing of America’s Prisoners of War in Korea,” Film History, 8, i, (1998), pp.275-94

The Manchurian Candidate and the Cold War Brainwashing Scare,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 18, i (March 1998), pp.75-94

“Plaid Cymru’s Party Election Broadcasts,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 17, iv, (Oct. 1997), pp.469-70

“A Red Under Every Bed? Anti-Communist Propaganda and Britain’s Response to Colonial Insurgency,” Contemporary Record, 9, ii (Autumn 1995), pp.294-318

“Two Faces of 1950s Terrorism: the Film Presentation of Mau Mau and the Malayan Emergency,” Small Wars and Insurgencies, 6, i, (Spring 1995), pp.17-43; reprinted in J. David Slocum (ed.), Terrorism, Media, Liberation (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005), pp.70-93

“‘Manning the Factories’: Propaganda and Policy on the Employment of Women, 1939-47,” History, 75, 244 (June 1990), pp.232-56

Review Essays

“The Big Chill,” review of Andrea Friedman, Citizenship in Cold War America: The National Security State and the Possibilities of Dissent, The Common Reader, August 28, 2015. http://commonreader.wustl.edu/c/americas-big-chill/

‘Had We but World Enough, and Time’: Spinning the USIA’s Story.” The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989. Nicholas J. Cull. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Reviewed for h-diplo roundtable (Nov. 2009)

“Being Beastly to the Mau Mau,” Twentieth Century British History, 16, iv (Sept. 2005), pp.1-8. Review of Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. David Anderson. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2005, and Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya. Caroline Elkins. London: Jonathan Cape, 2005

“New Media, New War,” International Affairs, 77, iii (July 2001), pp.513-21. Review of Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network. James Der Derian. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2001; Degraded Capability: The Media and the Kosovo Crisis. Philip Hammond and Edward S. Herman, eds. London: Pluto, 2000; and Strategy of Deception. Paul Virilio. London: Verso, 2000.

“Winning Friends and Influencing Americans,” Diplomatic History, 24, i (Winter 2000), pp.139-43. Review of To Win The Peace: British Propaganda in the United States during World War II. Susan A. Brewer. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997

“Not like the US? Europeans and the spread of American culture,” International Affairs, 74, iv (October 1998), pp.883-92. Review of Not Like Us: How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, and Transformed American Culture since World War II. Richard Pells. New York: Basic Books, 1997

Essays on Film

“Calling the shots: American Sniper, Populist Cinema and Unpopular War,” forthcoming (Oct. 2016), Ácoma – Rivista Internazionale di Studi Nord-Americani (an Italian journal of American Studies)

“Detached Retina: The New Cinema of Drones,” essay for Cineaste (forthcoming, Fall 2016)

“Limited Engagement: The Iraq War on Film” in Roy Grundmann, Cynthia Lucia and Art Simon (eds)    The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film, Vol. 4 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), pp.472-94. Reprinted in American Film History: Selected Readings, 1960 to the Present (Wiley-Blackwell,  2015), pp.438-53

“Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States,” Journal of American History, 100, iii (Dec. 2013), pp.924-29

“Bodies of Evidence: New Documentaries on Iraq War Veterans,” Cineaste (Winter 2008), pp.26-31 

“Question Time: The Iraq War Revisited,” Cineaste (Fall 2007), pp.12-17

“Say Cheese: Operation Iraqi Freedom on film,” Cineaste (Winter 2006), pp.30-36

“Bringing It All Back Home: Hollywood Returns to War,” Small Wars and Insurgencies, 13, iv (2003), pp.167-182; reprinted in Thomas R. Mockaitis and Paul B. Rich, Grand Strategy in the War against Terrorism (Frank Cass, 2003), pp.167-82

“Past Future: The Troubled History of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange,” National Forum, (Spring 2001), pp.29-33

“Compulsory Viewing: Concentration Camp Film and German Re-education,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 30, iii (Dec. 2001), pp.733-759

“Redeeming the Captives: Hollywood and the Brainwashing of America’s Prisoners of War in Korea,” Film History, 8, i, (1998), pp.275-94

The Manchurian Candidate and the Cold War Brainwashing Scare,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 18, i (March 1998), pp.75-94

“Two Faces of 1950s Terrorism: the Film Presentation of Mau Mau and the Malayan Emergency,” Small Wars and Insurgencies, 6, i, (Spring 1995), pp.17-43; reprinted in J. David Slocum (ed.), Terrorism, Media, Liberation (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005), pp.70-93

Book Chapters

“Communications Media, the U.S. Military and the War Brought Home” in David Kieran and Edwin A. Martini (eds), At War (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming, 2017)

“Casualty Aversion: The Media, Society and Public Opinion,” in Sibylle Scheipers (ed.), Heroism and the Changing Character of War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp.162-87

“Limited Engagement: The Iraq War on Film” in Roy Grundmann, Cynthia Lucia and Art Simon (eds) The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film, Vol. 4 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), pp.472- 94. Reprinted in American Film History: Selected Readings, 1960 to the Present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), pp.438-53

“Propaganda, Communications and Public Opinion” in Patrick Finney (ed.), The Palgrave Guide to International History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp.189-222

“Missing in Authenticity? Media War in the Digital Age,” in Mark Connelly and David Welch (eds.), War and the Media: Reportage and Propaganda, 1900-2003 (I.B. Tauris, 2004), pp.236-50

“Tribalism and Tribulation: Media Constructions of ‘African Savagery’ and ‘Western Humanitarianism’ in the 1990s,” in Stuart Allen and Barbie Zelizer (eds.), Reporting War: Journalism in Wartime (Routledge, 2004), pp.155-73

“Media, Communications and Technology” in Brian White and Richard Little (eds.), Issues in World Politics (Palgrave, 2001), pp.212-231

“‘Not Just Washed but Dry-Cleaned’: Korea and the ‘Brainwashing’ Scare of the 1950s” in Gary D. Rawnsley (ed.), Cold War Propaganda in the 1950s (Macmillan, 1999), pp.47-66

“International History, 1900-45” in J. Baylis and S. Smith (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics (Oxford University Press, 1997; 2nd revised edition, 2001), pp.49-70

‘The British State and the Reporting of Terrorism, 1919-94,” in I. Stewart & S. Carruthers (eds.) War, Culture and the Media (Flicks Books, 1996), pp.101-129

Single-book Reviews

A Very Principled Boy: The Life of Duncan Lee, Red Spy and Cold Warrior. Mark A. Bradley. New York: Basic Books, 2014. Reviewed in The Historian (forthcoming).

A Cold War State of Mind: Brainwashing and Postwar American Society. Matthew J. Dunne.  Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. Reviewed in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 88, iv (Winter 2014), pp.763-4

Broadcasting Empire: The BBC and the British World, 1922-1970. Simon J. Potter.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Reviewed in the American Historical Review, 119 (2014), pp. 606-607

America’s Captives: Treatment of POWs from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. Paul J. Springer. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Reviewed in The Journal of American History, 97, iii (Dec. 2010), p.22

What Have They Built You to Do? The Manchurian Candidate and Cold War America. Matthew Frye Jacobson and Gaspar González. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006. Reviewed in The Journal of American History, 94, ii (Sept. 2007), p.643

The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust. Jeffrey Herf. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006. Reviewed in International History Review, 29, iv (Dec. 2007), pp.907-9

Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad. Kenneth Osgood. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2006. Reviewed in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 27, iv (Oct. 2007), pp.563-65 

The Media and the Rwanda Genocide. Allan Thompson, ed. London: Pluto Press, 2007. Reviewed in Journalism Practice, 1, iii (Oct. 2007), pp.448-49

American Cold War Culture. Douglas Field, ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005.   Reviewed in Modernism and Modernity, 13, i (Jan. 2006), pp.956-58

Nazi Wireless Propaganda: Lord Haw-Haw and British Public Opinion in the Second World War. M.A. Doherty. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000. Reviewed in International History Review, 23, iv (Dec. 2001), pp.964-66

The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices. Elazar Barkan. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000. Reviewed in International Affairs, 77, iv (Oct. 2001), pp.973-74

Freedom’s War: The US Crusade against the Soviet Union, 1945-56. Scott Lucas. Manchester:    Manchester University Press, 1999. Reviewed in International Affairs, 77, i (Jan. 2001), p.211

The Cold War: An International History, 1947-1991. Simon J. Ball. London: Edward Arnold, 1998. Reviewed in International Affairs, 74, iii (July 1998), pp.671-72

Mau Mau Memoirs: History, Memory and Politics. Marshall S. Clough. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1998. Reviewed in International Affairs, 74, ii (April 1998), pp.450-51

Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals. Niall Ferguson, ed. London: Picador, 1997. Reviewed in International Affairs, 73, iv (Oct. 1997), p.803

Irish Television: The Political and Social Origins. Robert J. Savage. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1996. Reviewed in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 17, ii (June 1997), pp.291-92

British Relations with the Malay Rulers from Decentralization to Malayan Independence, 1930-57. Simon C. Smith. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1995. Reviewed for Contemporary British History, 10, ii (Summer 1996), pp.273-74

British Documents on the End of Empires. Series B. Volume 3. Malaya, Parts I, II, and III. A.J. Stockwell, ed. London: HMSO, 1995. Reviewed in International Affairs, 72, ii (April 1996), pp. 389-91

Anticolonialism in British Politics: The Left and the End of Empire, 1918-1964. Stephen Howe. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Colonial Wars and the Politics of Third World Nationalism. Frank Furedi. London: I.B. Tauris, 1994. Reviewed in Contemporary Record, 9, i (Summer 1995), pp.269-72

Defence and the Media in Time of Limited War. Peter R. Young, ed. London: Frank Cass, 1992. Reviewed in Intelligence and National Security, 9, i (Jan. 1994), pp.157-59

From 1995 to 2005, Susan Carruthers was a frequent reviewer for The Times Higher Education Supplement. Titles reviewed included:

  • Andrew Bacevich, American Empire
  • Benjamin Barber, A Passion for Democracy: American Essays
  • W. Lance Bennett & David Paletz, Taken by Storm: the Media, Public Opinion and US Foreign Policy in the Gulf War
  • Irving Bernstein, Guns or Butter: The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson
  • James Bill, George Ball: Behind the Scenes in US Foreign Policy
  • Warren I. Cohen & Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, Lyndon Johnson Confronts the World: American Foreign Policy, 1963-1968
  • Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century
  • Alex Danchev, On Specialness: Essays in Anglo-American Relations
  • Howard Friel and Richard Falk, The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy
  • Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century
  • Gary Hart, Restoration of the Republic: the Jeffersonian Ideal in 21-st Century America
  • David Harvey, The New Imperialism
  • Walter Hixson, Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945-61
  • Russell Jacoby, The End of Utopia
  • Amy Kaplan, The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of US Culture
  • Henry Kissinger, Does America Need a Foreign Policy?
  • Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, & Nina J. Easton, John F. Kerry: the Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best
  • John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
  • John Mueller, Policy and Opinion in the Gulf War
  • Dan Moldea, The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy
  • Heather Nunn, Thatcher, Politics and Fantasy
  • Javier Perez de Cuellar, Pilgrimage for Peace
  • Clive Ponting, Progress and Barbarism: The World in the Twentieth Century
  • Stanley A. Renshon, High Hopes: The Clinton Presidency and the Politics of Ambition
  • Donald A. Ritchie, Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps
  • Richard Robinson, Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US intervention and hegemony
  • Michael Saward, The Terms of Democracy
  • William Shawcross, Deliver Us from Evil: Warlords and Peacekeepers in a World of Endless Conflict
  • Tony Smith, America’s Mission: the United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century
  • Bartholemew Sparrow, From the Outside In: World War II and the American State
  • Mark Webber and Michael Smith (eds), Foreign Policy in a Transformed World
  • Robert H. Wiebe, Self-Rule: A Cultural History of American Democracy
  • Esmond Wright, The American Dream
  • Edwin M. Yoder, Joe Alsop’s Cold War
Single Film Reviews

Korengal. Dir. Sebastian Junger. 2014. Reviewed in the Journal of American History, 101, iii (2014), pp.1024-26 

The Fifth Estate. Dir. Bill Condon. 2013. Reviewed in the Journal of American History, 101, i (2014), pp.360-2

The Unknown Known. Dir. Errol Morris. 2014. Reviewed in Cineaste, 39, ii (Spring 2014), pp.36-38 

Emperor. Dir. Peter Webber. 2013. Reviewed in The Journal of American History, 100, i (June 2013), pp.318-20

Zero Dark Thirty. Dir. Kathryn Bigelow. 2012. Reviewed in Cineaste, 38, ii (Spring 2013), pp.50-52

The Invisible War. Dir Kirby Dick. 2012. Reviewed in Cineaste, 37, iv (Fall 2012), pp.48-49

Return. Dir. Liza Johnson. 2012. Reviewed in Cineaste, 37, iii (Summer 2012), pp.49-50

The Iron Lady. Dir. Phyllida Law. 2011. Reviewed in Cineaste, 37, ii (Spring 2012), pp.51-2

Fair Game. Dir. Doug Liman. 2010. Reviewed in The Journal of American History, 98, iii (Dec. 2011), pp. 945-7

Nuremberg: Its Lessons for Today. Dir. Stuart Schulberg. Office of Military Government, United States, 1948. Reviewed in The Journal of American History, 98, i (June 2011) pp. 296-8

My Lai. Dir. Barak Goodman. PBS, 2010. Reviewed in The Journal of American History, 97, iii (Dec. 2010), pp.16-18

In the Loop. Dir. Armando Iannucci. IFC Films. Reviewed in Cineaste, 35, i (Winter 2009), pp.57-8 

Redacted. Dir. Brian De Palma. Film Farm and HDNet Films, 2007. Reviewed in The Journal of American History, 95, i (June 2008), p.284