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Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising Paperback – 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: The Free Press (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965121518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965121514
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
It was fascinating, clear, and well-researched.
T. Grasso
It's well written, well researched, and the last chapter brings forth the type of political analysis missing in much of media education.
Bakari Chavanu
My eyes were opened in unexpected ways, and I learned a great deal from the book.
E. M. Carey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Carey on June 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Deadly Persuasion is one powerful book, and I certainly will never look at advertisements the same way again. This is a very well-thought out, well-supported account of how advertisers sell products by appealing to the socially-consctructed insecurities of girls and women, as well as the habits and patterns of addicts. She also clearly expresses her hypothesis that while she doesn't think that ads turn people into addicts or completely shape society, they do have an effect on how we see the world and on how addicts can maintain a state of denial.
One of the best aspects of the book is her use of real ads that illustrate without question the points that she makes. And looking at many of those that I've seen hundreds of times, I felt quite dumb for not really picking up the subtext or looking critically enough at them. The blatant manipulation in many of them is enough to turn me off any number of products for life.
Although I unhesitatingly give this book the highest rating, I must admit that in her conviction Kilbourne is sometimes repetitive, sometimes taking a point ever so slightly too far. But all in all, I find it a quite fair indictment of the advertising industry and its influence on consumers. As a former addict herself, Kilbourne is qualified to judge some aspects of advertising in a unique way, and her most frightening insight is that alcohol and tobacco advertisers understand addiction too, and use this knowledge to create and keep consumers from a very young age (their consumers have a nasty habit of dying off and they need to continuously create new buyers - internal communications from tobacco companies shows this to be a conscious act).
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bakari Chavanu on July 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I discovered this work in the bookstore, I immediately purchased it. I had been using Kilbourne's video "Still Killing Us Softly," in my 11th grade classroom for a few years now. I and my students found her analysis and examples to be eye opening and honest. What her new book does is update her analysis of how women are objectified in advertising. Perhaps if you thought advertising has changed in it representations of women, Kilbourne clearly shows you it hasn't. She provides a plethora of contemporary examples that expose well a culture that puts a lot of its demands on women to look sexually beautiful. I use her work, and now her new video Still Killing Us Softly III, in my classroom because it's very much needed to help my students understand ways that the media and advertising help to maintain, shape, and reshape gender stereotypes. Her analysis helps to show how this culture of "beauty" can often lead to discrimination and the marginalization of women (and men) who don't fit the media constructions of beauty. I recommend this book for any teacher doing media literacy in the classroom. It's well written, well researched, and the last chapter brings forth the type of political analysis missing in much of media education.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Please read this book and apply it to your daily life and that of your family. We are awash in a sea of advertising that makes us believe that we can only be happy if we buy something. This book explains how relationships with people are discounted as unnecessary to happiness and replaced with relationships to things and how advertising objectifies all of us. I highly recommend this book to all parents concerned about what their children are exposed to in school, at home, everywhere.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dora on January 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After Jean Kilbourne lectured at my high school, my entire view on pop culture and the media turned around completely. Other students felt the same way; many quit smoking the very day she came. Previously our school had tried various attempts at stopping them from smoking, but nothing got through before Ms. Kilbourne. She was able to get through to many of the students without even saying, "don't smoke". She was a very influential and convincing speaker, and I was not surprised to read that she was also this way as a writer. Reading this book was an intense experience. My eyes constantly widened at things I had not known. Both as a lecturer and as a writer, Jean Kilbourne has taught me so much. This book would serve well as a textbook because there is so much to learn from it, and yet it is vividly and animatedly written. I really recommend everyone read this book, whether it be for academic purposes or for leisure reading...
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found this book utterly fascinating. My educational background is in sociology, political science, education and counseling psychology, and for several decades I've been both fascinated and appalled by the power the advertising media have over our culture. I have never seen anyone talk so lucidly about this vital subject before. Bravo!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A thoughful and revealing book that takes a look at the myriad of commercial images we see everyday, and challenges us to stop and say, "Wait a minute, what does that imply? What am I being told?" Kilbourne's passion for this topic is evident, and some might say that some of her ideas are a little extreme. But as a rocovering alcoholic and smoker, she has valid perspective, and her overall position is balanced. The final chapter where she outlines the changes that can be made in society to remedy the problem of advertizing is a refreshing change from other books of this genre that ideantify the problem, but seldom give any solutions.
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