If you want advice on how to be an effective and honest communicator, Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson have written an entire book about it, Age of Propaganda: the everyday use and abuse of persuasion (265 pages. W.H. Freeman and Company). Pratkanis and Aronson give their own accounts of how propaganda impacted their childhood. Aronson recalls how he felt about the "evil Germans" and "sneaky Japanese" while growing up in the 1940s. Pratkanis lost his naïveté when the Watergate scandal broke. He would later come to the realization that all politicians lie and cheat. The two authors attempt to educate the reader regarding propaganda and persuasion. Their goal is have the reader able to identify devices used, what makes them effective, and how to counteract their effectiveness without becoming a pessimist. All the chapters were enlightening; some stood out more than others and were able to give good "heads up" advice. The authors give the reader the inside track on how advertisers promote their products, a "buyer beware" sort of infomercial. Companies use words such as new, quick, easy, improved, now, suddenly, amazing, and introducing to sell their products. The authors further expose merchants by explaining how they make certain brands more accessible than others by placing them at eye level. Additionally, the consumer is informed that ads using animals, babies, or sex sell the product more successfully than advertisers that use cartoons or historical figures. The buyer is also cautioned on how merchants place products at the end of a supermarket aisle or near the checkout aisle; this strategy catches the consumer's eye and lures them into the "I gotta have it, can't live without it" frame of mind. The authors introduce the reader to a sociologist named David Phillips; the sociologist has made predictions which have been startlingly accurate. For one of his predictions, he had gathered information regarding deaths, which occurred after heavyweight championships. His research uncovered this information: homicide rates rose significantly after 3 to 4 days following a fight. He was also able to conclude that the victims were similar to the fighter beaten in the bout. For example, if a white male was beaten, then murders of young white males increased. The same was true if it was a black opponent. Many people believe the media plays a role in the actions of some people, but no thought is given to how a boxing match could have such an impact on the homicide rate. This study is eerie, yet fascinating. Pratkanis and Aronson inform the reader that instilling fear is often the way we are persuaded to act on an idea. Life insurance agents use fear in order that we purchase policies to "protect our loved ones." Doctors use fear to insure that we take out medication. Even dentists show graphic pictures of rotting teeth so that we will floss and brush daily. The book was informative and enlightening. It makes one stop and think about how society is constantly being persuaded to think and act the way we do, in a conformist mode. The authors accomplish their goal by enabling the reader to identify devices used and either "go with the flow" or "not be taken for a ride."