Building the Cold War: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture

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In postwar Europe and the Middle East, Hilton hotels were literally little Americas, offering travelers cheeseburgers, air-conditioning, and respite from alien cultures. Conrad Hilton claimed that his hotels were constructed for profit and political impact, to show the countries most exposed to Communism the other side of the coin. In Building the Cold War, Annabel Jane Wharton examines the architectural means by which this vision was executed, and then goes on to offer a sophisticated critique of one of the Cold War's first international businesses. Wharton demonstrates that the role of the Hilton hotels in the struggle against Communism was, as Conrad Hilton declared, significant, though in ways that he could not have imagined.