Wagnleitner traces the intimate relationship between the political and economic reconstruction of a democratic Austria and the parallel process of cultural assimilation. Initially, U.S. cultural programs had been developed to impress Europeans with the achievements of American high culture. However, popular culture was more readily accepted, at least among the young, who were the primary target group of the propaganda campaign. The prevalence of Coca-Cola and rock 'n' roll are just two examples addressed by Wagnleitner. Soon, the cultural hegemony of the United States became visible in nearly all quarters of Austrian life: the press, advertising, comics, literature, education, radio, music, theater, and fashion. Hollywood proved particularly effective in spreading American cultural ideals. For Europeans, says Wagnleitner, the result was a second discovery of America.
This book is a translation of the Austrian edition, published in 1991, which won the Ludwig Jedlicka Memorial Prize.