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Enclaves of America

Enclaves of America: The Rhetoric of American Political Architecture Abroad, 1900-1965

Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 222
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  • Book Info
    Enclaves of America
    Book Description:

    Whether determining the style of its embassies or the design of overseas cemeteries for Americans killed in battle, the U.S. government in its rise to global leadership greatly valued architectural symbols as a way of conveying its power abroad. In order to explain the political significance of American monuments on foreign soil, this illustrated book explores the efforts made by the United States from 1900 to 1965 to enhance its image as a military and economic force with displays of artistic achievement.

    Originally published in 1996.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6310-5
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-1)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. 2-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-12)

    An aluminum eagle with a thirty-five-foot wingspan and a golden sheen unleashed a storm of controversy in 1960. Perched over the entrance to the new American Embassy in London, this heroic-sized emblem heightened an ongoing debate about American symbolism in foreign lands. Critics, led by Columbia University historian Richard B. Morris, questioned the use of a symbol of “naked power” to represent American ambitions abroad. Morris invoked Thomas Jefferson, who had never cared much for the bird, and cited examples of callous emperors from forgotten times who had adopted the eagle as a metaphor for oppressive power. Europeans had a...


      (pp. 15-29)

      A distinguished-looking American wandering through the streets of London during a typically dark and wet evening attracted the attention of a passing policeman. “What are you doing walking about in this beastly weather?” the officer queried. “Better go home.” “I have no home,” Joseph H. Choate replied, “I am the American ambassador.”¹

      This anecdote surfaced frequently during the course of an extensive campaign for expanded diplomatic representation in the early twentieth century. The virtues of the story lay in its disclosure of the quest for a meaningful American presence in other lands. The ambassador’s aimless meandering suggested that although the...

      (pp. 30-62)

      General John J. Pershing, former commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in France and American hero, found himself in the uncomfortable position of being attacked by his own troops. The battle arena was a small town near Verdun, Sivry-sur-Meuse, where, in 1931, veterans of the 316th Infantry of the Seventy-ninth Division had erected a monument to their fallen comrades-in-arms. In order to circumvent a Franco-American agreement prohibiting the erection of private memorials without prior approval of the U.S. government, the monument had been constructed on private property and under the auspices of a French veterans’ organization. Pershing, the U.S....

    • 3 From Palace to Plantation House: THE POLITICAL ARCHITECTURE OF AMERICAN EMBASSIES, 1926–1932
      (pp. 63-88)

      The foreign policy of the United States during the 1920s has often been characterized as unimaginative, bland, and self-defeating. The central figure during these years, Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, spent most of his efforts devising schemes for scaling down American involvement in multinational ventures, while his successor, the mediocre Frank Kellogg, is credited with doing nothing significant. “The makers of American Foreign Policy,” William Leuchtenberg stated in his study of the interwar years, either marked time or “concentrated on destroying instruments of power.”¹

      This uncomplimentary assessment of U.S. foreign policy does injustice to the grand designs of the...


    • 4 Interlude: MARKING TIME, 1933–1945
      (pp. 91-108)

      On 19 June 1942, more than six months after the United States had once again entered the arena of global warfare, an American army officer paid an official visit to enemy territory. Colonel T. Bently Mott, the former military attaché of the American embassy in France, arrived in Vichy by way of Lisbon on “a special mission in connection with American war cemeteries and battlefield monuments in France.”¹

      In one of the most bizarre incidents of the conflict, Colonel Mott apparently persuaded his counterparts to absolve the dead from the horrors of war. Enemy forces in France and Belgium agreed...

      (pp. 109-135)

      In 1966, at the high tide of America’s ever-growing involvement in a new war of uncertain dimensions, an outraged chairman of the House Armed Services Committee issued a demand for the repatriation of all American war dead from France. His announcement was triggered by the breakdown of talks between France and the United States over the future of American bases on French soil. The impending withdrawal of American troops, Representative L. Mendel Rivers claimed, should include the bodies of the over 60,000 who had sacrificed their “lives to save that nation [France] from disgraceful defeat.”¹

      Rivers, a South Carolina Democrat,...

    • 6 Foreign Bodies: AMERICAN IMPERIAL ARCHITECTURE, 1945–1965
      (pp. 136-166)

      Timemagazine called the phenomenon a new international sport. In a condescending and, at times, mystified tone, the periodical documented the “corpus of ground rules” that governed this new activity wherever it occurred. The function of an early-warning system, according toTime, was provided by the appearance of sign painters,

      serious little men with paintpots and newly issued brushes, their lips moving soundlessly with the memorized slogans: ‘Yankee Go Home’ or ‘Down with the Neocolonialists’. . . . Next come the marchers, swinging along with mob gaiety and waving their xenophobic standards at the white faces in the embassy window.....

    • 7 Epilogue: RETREAT
      (pp. 167-178)

      On 26 November 1950, Chinese troops launched a massive attack against American forces in Korea. By March 1951, the Eighth Army—America’s main fighting force in Korea—had been driven back from positions deep in the northern half of the country to the thirty-eighth parallel. The debacle in Korea ranked among the United States’ most significant military setbacks in modern times. The rout was all the more painful because of some unexpected side effects. Not only had the American armed forces experienced a serious military defeat; to make matters worse, the retreat to new positions entailed the loss of two...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 179-196)
  10. Bibliographical Essay
    (pp. 197-202)
  11. Index
    (pp. 203-208)