Cover

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Title page, Copyright page

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pp. i-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-x

Acronyms and Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xviii

If someone had told me twenty-some years ago, when I arrived in the United States, that I would author a book that tells the story of interwar Hungarian cultural diplomacy—and that I would write it in English— I might have had some misgivings about that person’s mental faculties. Yet here I am, writing to acknowledge and sincerely thank those without whom this book would have remained but a fantasy. Just as my journey was long, so is the list of people and institutions I owe thanks to....

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Introduction

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pp. 1-22

“If there is an international institute of propaganda, it ought to present a diploma to the Hungarian entrusted with the task of placing Hungary’s grievances before the world,” wrote historian Bernard Newman in 1939.1 Of course, there was no such institution. Even if there were, it is questionable whether Hungarians would have wanted such a diploma, for in the post-World War I period, the word “propaganda” gained a rather negative connotation.2 Instead, the Hungarian...

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Chapter 1 Mobilizing the Nation: From War Propaganda to Peacetime Cultural Diplomacy and Beyond

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pp. 23-72

On October 17, 1918, István Tisza announced to the Hungarian Parliament: “I must acknowledge that what Count Mihály Károlyi said yesterday is the truth. We have lost this war.” He continued, “we could make our enemy’s final victory an expensive one . . . yet we have no more hope of winning this war, hence we must seek a  peace.” The former prime minister called for unity and explained that one of the main tasks was to correct all the errors and misunderstandings about...

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Chapter 2 Defining the Nation

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pp. 73-108

Mi a magyar? (What is Hungarian?) was one of the most divisive questions in interwar Hungary. It was one that a  myriad of intellectuals, public figures, and even politicians sought to answer. Because Hungarian cultural diplomacy’s main aim was to construct and project a positive image of the country abroad, it relied heavily on a process in which the political and intellectual elite sought to delineate the essence of Hungarianness. What should Hungary’s preferred image be? What message...

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Chapter 3 Educating International Public Opinion: CulturalInstitutions and Scholarly Publications

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pp. 109-164

In 1936 Bethlen wrote these words in the inaugural issue of the Hungarian Quarterly, the country’s first English-language scholarly journal. No longer prime minister, he nevertheless remained a central figure of Hungary’s cultural-diplomatic campaign, which he had helped launch in the mid-1920s. He explained that the Great War and the subsequent peace treaties showed the world that public opinion mattered and that no nation was truly the master of its own destiny. “These experiences...

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Chapter 4 Showcasing the Nation: The Role of Tourism

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pp. 165-230

On June 20, 1927, in the Upper House of the Hungarian Parliament during the budget debate, Archduke Joseph Francis (1895–1957) rose to speak: “Revered House, tourism is the best foreign policy; it is the best foreign policy, because it garners friends for the country by acquainting [others] with our domestic reality. Secondly, it allows us to speak about ourselves in a way that enables those abroad to become acquainted with us, which helps us to remove their misconceptions.”...

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Chapter 5 Becoming Audible and Visible: Radio Broadcasting and Cinematic Production in the Service of Cultural Diplomacy

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pp. 231-292

The invention Miklós Kozma was referring to was the radio. Kozma could have added cinema, for the development of modern media and its ability to reach worldwide audiences had an invaluable impact on Hungarian cultural diplomacy. If anyone in Hungary was aware of the propaganda potential of radio and cinema, it was Miklós Kozma. He was what today one might call a media tycoon, in charge of the Magyar Távirati Iroda (MTI; Hungarian Telegraph Bureau); founder...

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Conclusion

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pp. 293-308

In relation to interwar Hungarian cultural diplomacy, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden’s point about the connection between cultural propaganda, or cultural diplomacy, and foreign policy is apropos. Even if one accepts that Hungary carried out “good” cultural propaganda, it certainly could not remedy the leadership’s “bad” foreign policy, which was a result of the country’s unrelenting pursuit of territorial revision and mistaken interpretation of geopolitical realities....

Bibliography

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pp. 309-332

Index

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pp. 333-342

Gallery

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pp. 343-350

Back cover

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p. 351