Journal of World Literature vol:1 issue:3 pages:371-390
Historians of the Cold War are often quick to dismiss the role of books and translation programs of the era as propaganda. To contest this, we combine insights from cultural Cold War studies, Translation Studies and world literature, illustrating the circulation of books and world literature through a Cold War book program. Documentary evidence from the Franklin Book Programs indicate that although Franklin men were engaged in a soft mode of promoting American culture and values, they were not simply Cold War warriors nor was the program a pure propaganda project. The complexity of obtaining and negotiating copyright, the various roles of the local Franklin men and the program’s impact on translation and on publishing contest a propagandist reading. Interdisciplinary research on the impact and legacy of the Franklin Book Programs in a non-aligned context can contribute to a better understanding of the global patterns of the circulation of world literature in their local manifestations.