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Propaganda & Persuasion Paperback – April 12, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1412977821 ISBN-10: 1412977827 Edition: Fifth Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; Fifth Edition edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412977827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412977821
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Garth S. Jowett is a professor of communications at the University of Houston. He obtained his PhD in history and communication from the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as the director for social research for the Canadian government's department of communication and has been a consultant to various international communication agencies. He has been widely published in the area of popular culture and the history of communication. His book, Film: The Democratic Art (1976), was a benchmark in film history. His other publications include, Movies as Mass Communication, Children and the Movies: Media Influence and the Payne Fund Studies, and Readings in Propaganda and Persuasion, co-edited with Victoria O'Donnell. He is on the boards of several communication and film journals.

Victoria O'Donnell (PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is professor emeritus at Montana State University, where she teaches seminars on television criticism for the school of film and photography. She has published on topics concerning persuasion, the social effects of media, women in film and television, British politics, Nazi propaganda, collective memory, cultural studies theory, and science fiction films of the 1950s. She recently published the second edition of Television Criticism, also with SAGE. She has authored or co-authored several books, including Persuasion: An Interactive-Dependency Approach (with June Kable), Propaganda and Persuasion (with Garth S. Jowett), and Speech Communication. She also co-edited Readings in Propaganda and Persuasion with Garth S. Jowett. O’Donnell made a film for PBS, Women, War, and Work: Shaping Space for Productivity in the Shipyards During World War II, has written television scripts for environmental films, done voice-overs, and served on several journal editorial boards, and is the recipient of numerous research grants and teaching awards.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By TitaniumDreads on June 16, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The overwealming impression that I got from the Propaganda and Persuasion was that it was muddled and poorly put together. I would probably rate it at three stars but there are enough gems in this to justify a four. Even though the flow of the book is clunky you will end up taking away a lot from it.

My first complaint is that the book spends a lot of time tripping over the definition of propaganda. There is obviously quite a bit of rigorous academic debate on exactly what propaganda is but the book has trouble deciding how, when and in what format it wants to present the debate. Rather than coming up with a coherent, consistently used definition of propaganda (or even multiple definitions that are used in parallel) it haphazardly loops back on itself covering the same information two and three times.

I think this accounts for roughly 75-100 extra pages that would have been more useful as examples of propaganda throughout the ages, more rigorous analysis using the constructs presented, or even just pictures. The book has a few very cool pictures of propagandistic architecture, art, and old posters from wars. I would have been much happier with more pictures of actual propaganda that were deconstructed using the theories presented.

Coverage of the propaganda leading up to and through the first gulf war was better than nothing but certainly not what I would expect from academic material. The authors managed to strip down a fairly interesting subject into kind of blah coverage. It should also be noted that this book covers a reasonably basic view of history, something that might be suitable for first or second year undergraduates. That's not a complaint per se, just something you should know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Santi Tafarella on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book functions as an excellent outline for reflecting on rhetoric and propaganda through the ages. The authors review the history and literature of propaganda pretty thoroughly. Not much scholarship on the subject seems to have escaped their attention. You can use the references at the back of the text as a good guide to all the major academic books and articles on propaganda (at least those that have been written over the past fifty years).

After attempting to define propaganda, the authors devote the first half of the book to a historical survey of the subject, from ancient times to the present. The second half of the book is devoted to an analysis of the techniques of propaganda. My only negative critique of this book is that the authors are not fluid writers. But this did not put me off from reading the book in its entirety. I'm often impatient with awkward wording, or choppiness of phrase in a book, but the authors' thoroughness of documentation, and their commitment to survey and summarize the academic literature thoroughly, makes the text worthy of close (if sometimes painful) reading.
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Format: Paperback
Jowett & O'Donnell's book has become a sort of standard text in the teaching of propaganda, which is good, but it is not the best book to teach from nor from which to learn. Plus it's pricey--Sage, the publisher, as a foremost academic publisher, has, as academic publishers do, taken advantage of the academic captive market. Nevertheless, I especially recommend the chapter about how to analyze a propaganda campaign. It provides a step-by-step procedure that leads a student to the discovery and appreciation of the multi-dimensionality of modern propaganda campaigns. This chapter achieves, probably, the only lingering effect of having read the book. I have tried to use this book in teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Persuasion and Propaganda, and while it has good chapters, it lacks what might be called "residual effect" --there is no great significant synthesis. Nor does it chill the soul (like Jacques Ellul's great book,Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes; and it does not, excepting the chapter mentioned above, lend itself to application. I know whereof I speak, being the author of The Ten Commandments of Propaganda, and a Professor of Communication. Nevertheless, writing a comprehensive book on Propaganda is, to say the least, difficult. Jowett and O'Donnell provide point of ingress into the field of propaganda studies (my field), but achieve little in the way of grand effect. They write like social scientists.Read more ›
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By rodrens@sprintmail.com on August 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
Terrific book for anyone interested in not only propaganda and its history, but public relations, marketing, advertising, etc
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr. on November 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What campaigns have effectively changed public opinions over the years and how were they propagated? This book provides some answers as it traces such movements.
The book opens with a discussion on the differences between propaganda and persuasion. It takes up from there in the second chapter with a look at propaganda's early use in the Church. It was positive, as in propagating the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Later propaganda became institutionalized, as explained in chapter three. In the fourth chatper, the authors begin to examine modern propaganda campaigns. Toward the end some case studies are given. And the concluding chapter talks about how propaganda works in modern society.
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