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Propaganda [Kindle Edition]

Edward Bernays , Mark Crispin Miller
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Bernays’ honest and practical manual provides much insight into some of the most powerful and influential institutions of contemporary industrial state capitalist democracies.”—Noam Chomsky

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”—Edward Bernays, Propaganda

A seminal and controversial figure in the history of political thought and public relations, Edward Bernays (1891–1995), pioneered the scientific technique of shaping and manipulating public opinion, which he famously dubbed “engineering of consent.” During World War I, he was an integral part of the U.S. Committee on Public Information (CPI), a powerful propaganda apparatus that was mobilized to package, advertise and sell the war to the American people as one that would “Make the World Safe for Democracy.” The CPI would become the blueprint in which marketing strategies for future wars would be based upon.

Bernays applied the techniques he had learned in the CPI and, incorporating some of the ideas of Walter Lipmann, became an outspoken proponent of propaganda as a tool for democratic and corporate manipulation of the population. His 1928 bombshell Propaganda lays out his eerily prescient vision for using propaganda to regiment the collective mind in a variety of areas, including government, politics, art, science and education. To read this book today is to frightfully comprehend what our contemporary institutions of government and business have become in regards to organized manipulation of the masses.

This is the first reprint of Propaganda in over 30 years and features an introduction by Mark Crispin Miller, author of The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 353 KB
  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Ig Publishing (1 Sept. 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0097D76MG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,366 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enlightening read 28 Feb. 2013
By Mr V
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone and everyone.

Edward Bernays is known as ‘the father of public relations’ and is undoubtedly one of the most influential men of the 20th century. In this book he promotes the newly emerging field of propaganda and PR as a necessary and good thing, vital to the functioning of a modern democratic society. The target audience is clearly the businessmen and politicians that form his client-group. It is interesting to see the author plainly and matter-of-factly discuss things that would now get anyone labelled a conspiracy theorist – the need for hidden government and manipulation of the common herd so that they do not interfere with the needs of industry and the elite. Even if you are familiar with these kinds of topics already, it is eye-opening to see them presented not by aforementioned conspiracy theorists and activists, but by a passionate advocate and architect of the methods now applied globally to maintain control of society at large.

It should be studied in schools, both as a historical work and also to help arm young people against the assault of psychological warfare we are confronted with each time we walk down the high street, enter a supermarket, open a magazine or newspaper, turn on the TV or listen to the radio.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic PR Textbook 3 Dec. 2010
By William Cohen VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Edward Bernays is certainly a man with self-assurance. He describes the machinery by which our perceptions are managed by our 'invisible governors'. And indeed our world has been created by the techniques he describes. But there is a certain amount of hubris in what he's written, and as Adam Curtis explains in 'The Century of the Self' he used his skills for dubious ends. It's certainly a ground-breaking book, but you wonder if Governments and businesses can control the messages in the way he describes in the era of social media and the internet. Also, as we saw in the Iraq war, the truth comes out in the end, and once you've deceived the people once, it's not so easy a second time. Still, it's good to know how the dark arts work, and Bernays is an excellent writer.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sociology for the real world 9 Aug. 2005
Bernays is considered as one of the originators of the modern Public Relations industry. If you work in PR, it is essential reading. But it also serves as a dramatic sociological text, full of hard truths about the reality of modern life. This is the reason why Noam Chomsky recommends this book so strongly.
Bernays, as one would expect from the most successful propagandist of the 20th century, has a thorough grasp of psychology and sociology. His psychological view is based on "Uncle Siggy" - his Uncle Sigmund Freud. The origin of his sociological views, however, are less clear, but he shares the views of many liberal thinkers that a real democracy is a danger to be avoided, and not an ideal to be sought.
Bernays likes to point out the fact that we like to think that we are "free", but we are often led by the "experts": in business, in politics, in science, philosophy, ethics. The PR agent serves the interests of the minority who control the interests and habits of the masses (what Bernays calls the "invisible Government"), by using the media industry itself, without its exclicit knowledge.
He describes an example from the fashion industry that is so obvious, that one feels very stupid in not noticing it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A crucial insight into how society functions 22 Aug. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that I've wanted to read for years, as a primary reference to understand how the world really operates. It's great to read books and to watch documentaries which talk about these things, but you can only truly appreciate what's going on around you when you go straight to the source. And Edward Bernays, the early 20th century propagandist who used the psychological insights of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, to transform the propaganda industry into what we now call "public relations", is one of the most crucial primary sources. Interest on his life and work have been reinvigorated within recent years, due to activists such as Noam Chomsky citing him as a pivotal spearhead of the Big Brother society, and an award winning BBC documentary by Adam Curtis, `Century of the Self'.

This short book, `Propaganda', is essentially propaganda for propaganda. By the 1920s, the once neutral word "propaganda" had been tainted with the same connotations it still has until now. Bernays, a professional propagandist, tasked himself with the mission of giving acceptability back to what he considered a legitimate advertising technique. This was back before he would realise that the word would never become fashionable again, replacing it with "public relations", or P.R.(opaganda). And, so, this short book acts essentially as an advertisement for "educated Americans", to teach them of the value of propaganda. The first half of the book is basically an apology for propaganda, and the wise men behind the scenes that we have "consented" to employ it for "our own good", to sway our opinions into the right direction and to prevent chaos from ensuing as a result of having no wise guidance in our lives.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading 30 Jan. 2011
By Rafa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Though we all are subject to the phenomenon of propaganda on a daily basis, this book is still essential reading. You recognize all of what Bernays is writing. And now with the Wikileaks in the news currently, one is confronted all the more with propaganda. It is a very a very simple mechanism: you tell one thing, you do the other thing and you do not inform about the latter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thank you
Published 4 days ago by Selina Amanquah
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into the inner workings of modern corporate and ...
Extremely relevant for a book written nearly 100 years ago. Great insight into the inner workings of modern corporate and governmental entities. Read more
Published 2 months ago by JackMully
4.0 out of 5 stars I was so happy to find this book
I was so happy to find this book, I had a great deal of difficulty. I really recommend reading this. A comment on the edition though: it's pretty basic and has a bunch of typos. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mg12345
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book for anyone who wants to know where ...
A must-read book for anyone who wants to know where PR came from (and how it influences our society today - see the Century of Self documentary for more on this subject).
Published 3 months ago by Mr. L. Porter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent quality and value
Published 5 months ago by Liam Flahive
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My friend loves it Thankyou.
Published 7 months ago by s whelan
5.0 out of 5 stars The new Gods
I went to the X Factor final, we won tickets, and I had the opportunity to just look at the behaviour of the crowd. It was like a Hitler youth rally but with grown ups. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Halifax Student Account
5.0 out of 5 stars the original 'how to manipulate the masses' guide
This book should be read by everyone. It is clear, informative, well written and surprisingly accurate. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Christopher May
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 9 months ago by Joleen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 months ago by J-Star
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