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Toxic Sludge is Good for You [Paperback]

John Stauber , Sheldon Rampton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Aug 2004
Toxic Sludge is Good for You explains exactly how the magic of modern PR transforms the favoured policies of the rich and the powerful into uncontroversial common sense. It is without doubt the most important book about the methods and objectives of corporate public relations ever published. Reading it will make life for the executives at Hill and Knowlton, Ketchum and Barston-Marstellar a little bit more difficult. And that can only be a good thing.

Product details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing (5 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841199540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841199542
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 938,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Author

Check out PR Watch quarterly.
Our book TSIGFY grew out of our writing for PR Watch, the investigative quarterly covering government and corporate propaganda and the PR industry. Check our website for back issues, or email me your postal address for a sample of the current issue. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton are the authors of Trust Us, We're Experts and the bestselling Weapons of Mass Deception. Find out more about their work for the Center for Media and Democracy at www www They both live in Madison Wisconsin

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has changed my view of the world. 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Must reading for everyone. I bought a bunch of copies and am giving them as gifts to my friends.
I used to wonder why I heard so much contradictary news in the major media pertaining to health and the environment. First, a news item quotes an authority saying a food is safe, the next year the same newspaper says it's dangerous, and the next year after that they claim it's good for you. After reading this book, I know why. There are thousands of environmental and health , and scientific organizations. According to this book, many (but not all) of these organizations are not much more than clever PR fronts, funded mainly by industry. For example, I have often seen and continue to see information provided by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) in the major newspapers and magazines. The media usually takes this organization at its word as a credible scientific source.
According to this book: The ACSH is an industry front group that produces PR ammunition for the food processing and chemical industries. They praise the nutritional values of fast food and receive money from the fast food industry. They claim pesticides are very safe and take money from a host of pesticide manufacturers. The list goes on and on.. Yet the journalists usually take the ACSH words almost verbatim as fact and print it in their newspaper. Most journalists don't check their sources, or they're puppets of industry. Then the public reads this stuff as if it were scientifically proven fact. Public policy and law often gets decided on the basis of this "knowledge." Of course, some readers of these "facts" are skeptical, but no one seriously challenges the ACSH's credibility.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! Openned my eyes to the PR Industry. 18 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This is a great introduction to the tactics and influence of the PR industry. It could have gone in to more depth, offered more analysis, and been more 'objective' whatever that is, but that wasn't the point. Toxic Sludge brings attention to an industry that has been manufacturing the consent of the public for corporate america and other monied interests. I think it was weakest in it's suggestions about what to do to combat the PR Industry. Their assertion that the only successful activism is NIMBYism is not only wrong but dangerous in that it doesn't lead to a larger movement to reign in corporate power. This book is a must read for anybody who wants to understand where the media is coming from and what corporations are doing to manage their image.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Which came first American culture or corporate science? Who really holds the politics, and the economy of our country in check? How much power does each individual express with each and every purchase? Employing humor and real life situations, Toxic Sludge encourages us to question the story behind the story. This is am absolutly wonderful book, laced with current and relevant nuggets of information about how corporations have tapped into the behavioral sciences for their gain.It's a quick read and worth everyone's time to explore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
If you want to understand the mechanisms by which companies like Dow Chemical and Monsanto succeed again and again in creating markets for and undermining regulation of products that poison their workers, injure their customers, and generally wreak expensive havoc on our society, you won't find a clearer explanation. The person who compares their tactics, resources, and motivations to those of environmental activists is either a comedian, clueless, or cynical beyond words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book. Very eye-opening. 12 July 1998
By A Customer
This book is amazing. It opened my eyes so much that it inspired me to make a website dedicated to informing people of the deceit the PR industry uses. It is not a conspiracy-filled or a sensationalist book; it is actually the exact oppose. It is chock full of real facts, real people, and real events. Read it for yourself and get ready for it to change the way you see everything.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any PR professional. 5 July 1999
By A Customer
This book was required reading for my Public Relations seminar class. As a p.r. major, I wondered why this was assigned, since it seems to do nothing but malign the whole industry. As I continued to read, however, I began to see why it was assigned: We as public relations professionals need to know what the opposition is saying about us.
This book is great because it shows p.r. people what NOT to do when practicing the trade. As stated before in the previous reviews, this book is one-sided, but, as you can tell by the title, that's what it sought to be. However, it's unfortunate that the author's didn't explore all the positive aspects of public relations, since many p.r. campaigns help keep the U.S. economy healthy.
So, as I said before, every p.r. professional should read this book to get a feel for the history of public relations, but they should also take into consideration that this doesn't cover the good aspects. Just as the book said public relations people only show the positive attributes of their clients, this book only shows the negatives of the industry.
Toxic Sludge is very well-written and informative, and I commend the authors for a book that makes the required reading list.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential info on advocacy groups!
This is the sort of book that should be essential reading for everyone. Even if you are aware to some extent that our media (and government) plays to the tune of the corporations... Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2012 by Jodi-Hummingbird
5.0 out of 5 stars The Manipulators Under The Microscope
Public relations are the means by which power, whether economic or political, maintains and expands its privileges in a Democratic society. Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2010 by S Wood
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but totally one-sided
This is not a unbiased journalistic investigation into the PR industry - rather in the style of Michael Moore it is a one-sided look at the inherent corruption in our modern... Read more
Published on 3 April 2009 by Hayles
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but boring...
I'm getting fed up of reading poorly written American non-fiction. Here's another book that reads like a PhD thesis. Read more
Published on 19 May 2007 by A. G. Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant investigative work that will open you eyes...
This book is a great read. It is interesting, funny and shocking. If you want to know about the secrets of mutli nationals and the american electoral process this book will not... Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2004 by "don-edo-loco"
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very interesting...
A wide-ranging exposure of how US industry and government use PR to cow the many into supporting the unscrupulous vested interests of the few - so good I'm surprised it is still... Read more
Published on 8 April 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars they pulled the wool from my eyes!
This book is rad & will change your life. I had to read a xeroxed chapter of it for my Critical Issues in Journalism class and practically ran to the bookstore to order a... Read more
Published on 7 Jun 1999
This is a fantastic book. No - much more than that - it's a truly *important* book. And it will change you.
It has changed me: I am now a much more critical reader. Read more
Published on 4 May 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, often frightening taste of reality in the PR world.
This is an ideal book to inspire independent and critical thinking towards mass media and PR industries. It definitely exposes the true agendas of these fields.
Published on 28 Mar 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes interesting, but obviously biased.
This is a somewhat interesting book...some interesting facts and comments. I enjoyed reading it, up until the point they started defending Saddam...they sort of lost me there. Read more
Published on 5 Mar 1999
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