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Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media [Paperback]

Noam Chomsky , Edward S Herman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 April 1995
Contrary to the usual image of the press as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in its search for truth, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky depict how an underlying elite consensus largely structures all facets of the news. They skilfully dissect the way in which the marketplace and the economics of publishing significantly shape the news. They reveal how issues are framed and topics chosen, and contrast the double standards underlying accounts of free elections, a free press, and governmental repression between Nicaragua and El Salvador; between the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and the American invasion of Vietnam; between the genocide in Cambodia under a pro-American government and genocide under Pol Pot. What emerges from this groundbreaking work is an account of just how propagandistic our mass media are, and how we can learn to read them and see their function in a radically new way.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (20 April 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099533111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099533115
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"[A] compelling indictment of the news media's role in covering up errors and deceptions in American foreign policy of the past quarter century."--Walter LaFeber, The New York Times Book Review

Book Description

A detailed and compelling political study

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Since "The Media Monolopy" 21 Jun 2009
I'm not a fan of writing long reviews, so I'll just state that Chomsky and Herman do a phenomenal job of contrasting, what Chomsky calls, the 'hypocracy' in American politics. Namely the US focusing on their enemy's crimes, and overlooking its own crimes.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
"This book centers in what we call a "Propaganda Model", an analytical framework that attempts to explain the performance of the U.S. media in terms of the basic institutional structures and relationships within they operate. It is our view that, among their other functions, the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful social interests that control and finance them.... In our view the...underlying power sources that own the media and fund them as advertisers, that serve as primary definers of the news, and that produce flak and proper thinking experts, also play a key role in fixing basic principles and the dominant ideologies. We believe that what journalists do, what they see as newsworthy, and what they take for granted...are...well explained by the incentives, pressures, and constraints incorporated into such a structural analysis."

Noam Chomsky (MIT)
and Edward Herman (Wharton Business School)
From the Introduction

Next to the Bible, Joseph Campbell's THE POWER OF MYTH and FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, the seminal work of psychologist Alice Miller, every single American home should have this book. Perhaps to a greater extent than even much of the other work of Noam Chomsky, MANUFACTURING CONSENT reveals the irony of where a truly moral path leads in our world. Meaning, the religious/moral paradigms of Christian Conservatism, embraced in the inner world of personal integrity and "family values" and followed to their obvious conclusion--our outer world structured by commerce and international politics--leads one invariably to finding GOD somewhere on the left of America's political center; far and away from the Limbaugh-isms on American conservative radio. Anything less is either cancerous cynicism or delusional hypocrisy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manufacturing the news... 13 July 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
I once wrote an article which was eventually published in the local newspaper with the subject title. It concerned my interactions with NY Times columnist, Tom Friedman, and how the "balanced" statement which I have made to him was transformed, through his unique alchemy, into a very one-sided statement that fit his pre-conceived ideas, and was published in one of his columns to reinforce those ideas. Yes, I was "misquoted," in concept, if not in fact. But my interest in the subject of what becomes news, and what does not, predated the above interaction by many years. Regrettably, it was only recently when I purchased and read this book. The central theme is an examination of what and how the news in made, particularly in the United States, and just as importantly, what is omitted (left on the cutting room floor, as the movie industry has it.)

This book was first published in the late `80's, and this edition contains a 36 page introduction which was written in 2002. Herman and Chomsky are listed as co-authors, and I struggled with the question of which one wrote more of the book: I believe it was Edward Herman. The book has numerous strengths. Remember that it was written long before the era of the purported "fair and balanced" reporting of Fox News, and therefore addressing the truly "low-hanging fruit" of Fox's biased coverage is not included. Much of the book looks at what we refer to as our "newspaper of record," the New York Times. Their thesis is rather provocative: much of our "news" should be viewed as propaganda, just as we KNOW the "news" issued by various totalitarian regimes is propaganda.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Tristan Martin VINE VOICE
Manufacturing Consent is Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman's devastating critique of a complacent mainstream mass media. The book analyses prominent stories from the 1980s and samples much commentary from newspapers such as the New York Times and finds a disturbing consensus that permeates through the media market, a market that promotes itself to the public as being open, unbiased, independent of and fiercely critical of, establishment power.

The truth, according to Herman and Chomsky, is that due to a convergence of several key factors such as newspaper ownership patterns, the huge influence of advertising and what the media call 'credible sources of news', the mainstream mass media presents a highly distorted impression of what is and isn't news and how that news is selectively framed, interpreted and presented to the consumer - 'consumer' because news media don't sell news to the public, they sell consumers to advertisers.

What Chomsky and Herman are at pains to point out is that this is not a conspiracy theory - no one tells Jeremy Paxman or Andrew Marr what to write or write about - they don't have to be told because they wouldn't have ascended the corporate media ladder if they hadn't already successfully internalised all the underlying assumptions beforehand.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is a must read for media scholars or anyone interested to understand how mass, mainstream media produce the news reports they do. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Filip
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for everyone interested in how the media construct our...
A detailed study of subtle techniques used in the contemporary western medias designed to instill in the audience particular views about reality. Read more
Published 3 months ago by I Dragoun
5.0 out of 5 stars Manufacturing consent
I thought I knew a lot about the subliminal propaganda carried by even the best of the mainstream media. This masterpiece has taught me a lat more. Read more
Published 5 months ago by George Brennan
5.0 out of 5 stars Second hand book
Arrived quicker than the delivery date stated, so I was delighted! The cover isn't the same as the picture but its the same thing so it doesn't really matter! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Roisin Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars This book empowers the reader to critically approach all media
Superb book that allows the reader to take a critical, informed approach when reading/viewing various media. Read more
Published 11 months ago by R PEPPER
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent
This book was recommended to me by someone I was having a discussion with when I expressed my frustration about how our media consistently toe the government line and frame the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. Steven Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Arrived safely
It is ok but o do not like the paper type such a newspaper... and no banderole...

Arrived on time
Published 18 months ago by Samsuni
4.0 out of 5 stars Manufacturing consent
Subtle,in-depth analysis of media manipulation by the Establishment.A very good read and particularly relevant today;no doubt the Establishment will soon "discover" WMDs... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Proinsias
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moment of Clarity
Having had a an avid interest in the mainstream media for some years now and having read quite a few books on the subject over the years I can say without hesitation that... Read more
Published on 3 Nov 2011 by NGNM
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive
I'm very glad I read this book, I feel I have learnt something very important. It professionally and comprehensively explains how we are manipulated and why. Read more
Published on 13 Oct 2011 by forumsfeedback
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