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Customer Review

on 5 June 2013
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 discussion in such a way as to absolve our countries of any culpability in the horrific suffering we've inflicted on others - wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are all fine examples.

I couldn't figure out how our media consistently follow a very similar line, regardless of whether they are supposedly left or right-wing publications (that we are good and are bringing freedom, regardless of our very clear real motives, and our chosen victims who are evil and ridiculous). In this book, Chomsky and Herman define a propaganda model for modern capitalist societies that explains how and why this is so. They also provide some fascinating and eye-opening examples and case studies that are meticulously backed up with their sources (so you're not just getting their opinion on the matter). The discussions of El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and others are very well structured and are easy to read.

In conclusion, I would say that if you've identified that we get an extremely skewed representation of the news in our media and want to know why that is, this book is pure gold.

Also, the book was written in the late 1980s, and I was amazed that as I read it so many of the examples could have easily been applied to how our media reports the current Syrian civil war where there are very strong vested interests for Western nations. It's proof of a sound model and a timeless book. One of the most enlightening I've ever read, and to counter some of the comments about "conspiracy theories" - this book clearly is not supporting that.
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