Martha Bayles reviewed Mr Cull's book, The Cold War and the United States Information Agency, for The Wall Street Journal:
"Mr. Cull's invaluable contribution is to divide public diplomacy into five components, beginning with the most important: listening. Initially, USIA did research and analysis of foreign opinion, and the director sat on the National Security Council and shared these soundings with policy makers. (This changed under President Nixon.) The second component, advocacy, is also tied to policy, in the sense of shaping an overall propaganda "message" in its favor. Third is cultural diplomacy, connecting Americans with others through artistic and intellectual activities. Scorned by "hard power" types and drowned out by commercial entertainment, cultural diplomacy nevertheless played a vital role in the Cold War. But for complicated reasons -- having to do with the "culture wars" of the 1980s and 1990s -- it has been sidelined ever since. More favored these days is exchange diplomacy, most often educational (e.g., the Fulbright Program) but also professional and civic, as in Eisenhower's "people-to- people" programs of citizen diplomacy and sister cities. Then there is international broadcasting, originally news and opinion sent by short-wave radio into both friendly and unfriendly territory, as the VOA did during World War II and continues to do; and "surrogate broadcasting," as conducted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia. Today the focus is no longer on Europe: The joke is that RFE-RL is now "Europe-Free Radio." The main regions of service are rather Central Asia and the Middle East. Yet while these services make use of every media platform under the sun, they continue to be torn between advocacy and news. And more recent channels, like Radio Sawa and Al Hurra TV, have yet to distinguish themselves in either respect."