The American National Exhibition in Moscow (ANEM) in 1959 during the administration of Dwight Eisenhower was intended to show the adversary “a corner of America” and the abundance and technological advances produced by the United States. Neither before nor since has a cultural-diplomatic initiative of similar scale, cost, and bureaucratic and international complexity been attempted. Some former U.S. officials maintain to this day that the success of the venture cannot be determined and that “the jury is still out.” This article not only contributes the assessment of a working participant at the ANEM throughout its duration but also draws on a wealth of archival materials. This analysis “from below” and simultaneously “from above” reveals new perspectives that challenge many of the conclusions drawn by diplomatic and cultural historians concerning the events in Moscow and their aftermath. The article offers a more nuanced and informed understanding of the most ambitious U.S. cultural-diplomatic self-portrayal.

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