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Andrea R. Orzoff
New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM 88003-8002)
Battle for the Castle: Intellectuals and Propaganda in Czechoslovakia, 1918-1945

Propaganda is often associated with duplicitiousness and manipulation: but in interwar Eastern Europe, it frequently substituted for civic education. Literary intellectuals led the Czechoslovak propaganda effort and attempted not simply to parrot the worthiness of the new state but to prove it through the creation of propaganda as literature: a Czechoslovak national narrative. These intellectuals drew on archetypes and histories crafted by nineteenth-century Czech intellectuals battling the Habsburg Monarchy, and united an idealized portrait of Presidents T.G. Masaryk and Edvard BeneŇ° with an idealized depiction of their state. I am applying for a yearlong NEH Faculty Research Award to finish my book manuscript, which links this myth, and the concrete achievements of the Czechoslovak propaganda apparatus between 1918 and 1945, to the important issues of European intellectuals in political life and European state relations. In so doing my work revises current scholarly understanding of European and East European political culture in strikingly new ways.

Project fields:
European History

Faculty Research Awards

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 12/31/2006