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Thinker, Faker, Spinner, Spy: Corporate PR and the Assault on Democracy Paperback – 20 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (20 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745324444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745324449
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 466,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Corporate Spin is one of the great toxins of democracy and a free society. Thinker, Faker, Spinner, Spy is a foundational book to educate us about this sleazy realm and equip us to do battle with it (Robert W. McChesney, author, Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media)

Essential reading for anyone concerned with the rise of corporate power and with seeing the world as it really is. (Mark Curtis, journalist and author of 'Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses' (2007))

About the Author

David Miller is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Geography and Sociology at the University of Strathclyde. He has previously edited Thinker, Faker, Spinner, Spy (2007), Arguments Against G8 (2005) and Tell Me Lies: Propaganda and Media Distortion in the Attack on Iraq (2003) for Pluto Press.

William Dinan is Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Geography and Sociology at Strathclyde University, specialising in corporate PR and lobbying. He is the co-editor of Thinker, Faker, Spinner, Spy (2007).

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on 16 April 2008
Format: Paperback
Dinan and Miller are sociologists at Strathclyde University. This collection of essays is by 16 academics and journalists, 11 British, one Australian, two Dutch, one German and one American. They look at the context and role of spin, corporate spin by oil firms, biotechnology firms and food firms, various networks of influences - the US empire, the EU, the Stock Exchange, the Labour Party, and finally at how to counter spin.

PR is largely by and for corporations, using deception, subverting debate, its `ethical' activities subordinated to corporate strategy, and with a key role in the Thatcherite counter-revolution. PR businesses' annual turnover is £6.5 billion. Four corporations own more than half the global market in advertising, marketing, PR and lobbying. They use front groups, third party advocates and celebrities.

Aeron Davis looks at the special case of financial PR, where the Stock Market sells stocks, and itself, yet investors would have been better off putting their money in a high interest bank account. Other essays explore the EU's attack on public service broadcasting and study the pro-US, pro-EU, pro-capitalist group Demos.

An excellent piece by Olivier Hoedeman tells us that the EU has more than 15,000 full-time lobbyists, over 70% representing corporations, the EU's substitute for democratic input. LibDem leader Nick Clegg is with the lobbying firm GPlus Europe. His rival Chris Huhne is a member of the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum which lobbies for the big banks; it weakened EU laws against funding terrorism and money-laundering.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
very academic read 14 April 2010
By Ivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is wordy, and very academic. It you can wade through that, it does have interesting ideas. Also, I appreciate the extensive list of footnotes, which I enjoy because I like to see source materials. The ideas presented in the book are positively scary!! This book wont promote your trust in government.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Some useful insights, especially about the EU's spinners 16 April 2008
By William Podmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dinan and Miller are sociologists at Strathclyde University. This collection of essays is by 16 academics and journalists, 11 British, one Australian, two Dutch, one German and one American. They look at the context and role of spin, corporate spin by oil firms, biotechnology firms and food firms, various networks of influences - the US empire, the EU, the Stock Exchange, the Labour Party, and finally at how to counter spin.

PR is largely by and for corporations, using deception, subverting debate, its `ethical' activities subordinated to corporate strategy, and with a key role in the Thatcherite counter-revolution. PR businesses' annual turnover is £6.5 billion. Four corporations own more than half the global market in advertising, marketing, PR and lobbying. They use front groups, third party advocates and celebrities.

Aeron Davis looks at the special case of financial PR, where the Stock Market sells stocks, and itself, yet investors would have been better off putting their money in a high interest bank account. Other essays explore the EU's attack on public service broadcasting and study the pro-US, pro-EU, pro-capitalist group Demos.

An excellent piece by Olivier Hoedeman tells us that the EU has more than 15,000 full-time lobbyists, over 70% representing corporations, the EU's substitute for democratic input. LibDem leader Nick Clegg is with the lobbying firm GPlus Europe. His rival Chris Huhne is a member of the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum which lobbies for the big banks; it weakened EU laws against funding terrorism and money-laundering. Neoliberal hardliner Peter Mandelson supports the European Services Forum, a lobby of European services firms set up in 1999 by the European Commission to get the World Trade Organisation to privatise public services and open up economies across the world.

The employers' federation UNICE and the European Round Table, composed of the CEOs of Europe's 45 largest firms, have stopped all social initiatives until the EU has become the world's most competitive economic bloc. In 2004, the EU agreed to introduce `business impact assessments' for all EU policies.

Gerald Sussman has a useful piece on US and EU `democratic assistance' to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and the Czech Republic, openly backing Yeltsin, Yushchenko, Saakashvili and Havel, interfering in sovereign states' internal affairs.

But the collection also includes some quite wrong-headed essays like Andy Rowell's piece on what he calls `anti-climate activity'. And the presence of PR does not automatically devalue what is being promoted. PR for the MMR vaccine does not make it unsafe, or mean that it is unsafe; the same goes for nuclear power and GM foods. Too many of the contributors seem to oppose science, industry, pesticides, nuclear power and GM foods.
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