Lippman is sadly under-appreciated these days, I hadn't even heard his name until the past year, when, while working on my dissertation, I came across this book. Written in lucid, clear prose, yet dealing with incredibly complex theoretical and philosophical issues, Public Opinion argues that not only is there not really an agreed-upon "Public Opinion," but that people rarely even understand what they think they know, let alone what they can agree upon with other people. Lippman persuasively demonstrates that opinions are formed in such a way that they have little or no bearing upon "really existing" facts and truth most of the time, and instead are ill-informed, vague, and haphazard in their application of rational thought. Lippman closes by arguing that, since no one has the time or ability to be as informed as they are expected to be on every issue, what is needed is a group of intellectuals dedicated towards improving the quality of media we receive; a sort of "filter" which can correct misperceptions and inform the public at large. (Although, in his subsequent Lippman becomes even more pessimistic, arguing that there is no such thing as "the public".) This book is a must-read for those fascinated by media, politics, or even more general philosophical/culture questions.