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The Battle for the Mind: War and Peace in the Era of Mass Communication Paperback – March 10, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"This is an interesting read, well researched and well written. . . . The book is richest in its discussion of WWII and the years through the first war in the Persian Gulf. . . . An informative and worthwhile read. Highly recommended."―Choice

"The Battle for the Mind provides college-level students and military collections with a survey of mass media, the efforts to prevent war, and ways mass communication has changed and affected international relations in either making or preventing war. Breakthroughs in media have helped reshape the promotion and presentation of facts and helped actually create war or peace. The Battle for the Mind follows these changes and is a fine social history."―Midwest Book Review

"This book provides an introduction to a crucial current issue- the growing importance of journalism, public relations, and communication media in war and peace- essential background these days for journalists, journalism scholars, and their students. . It's a pleasure to read an academic writer who understands how to compose an English sentence, organize a paragraph, structure a series of paragraphs with some appropriate subheads to construct a series of chapters to make a book. Too bad there isn't more academic writing like this."―Ray Hiebert, University of Maryland

"The author has produced a well-written work of the kind of reach only a mature scholar can attempt. Messinger entertains us with provocative these and reminds us of significant facts."―H-Net Reviews

"Gary Messinger's goal in this synthetic work is to provide an overview of mass communication's impact on war and peace in the last two centuries. This is an enormous subject, and Messinger ranges admirably from Britain to the United States, Japan to Spain. The book encapsulates much of what we know about how the press, film, radio, and newer forms of mass communication have shaped war and efforts to end war."―Technology and Culture

From the Back Cover

Most people typically think of armed conflict in physical terms, involving guns and bombs, ships and planes, tanks and missiles. But today, because of mass communication, war and the effort to prevent it are increasingly dependent on non-physical factors--the capacity to persuade combatants and citizens to engage in violence or avoid it, and the packaging of the information on which decision making is based. This book explores the many ways that mass communication has revolutionized international relations, whether the aim is to make war effectively or to prevent it.

Gary Messinger shows that over the last 150 years a succession of breakthroughs in the realm of media has reshaped the making of war and peace. Along with mass newspapers, magazines, books, motion pictures, radio, television, computer software, and telecommunication satellites comes an array of strategies for exploiting these media to control popular beliefs and emotions. Images of war now arrive in many forms and reach billions of people simultaneously. Political and military leaders must react to crowd impulses that sweep around the globe. Nation-states and nongovernmental groups, including terrorists, use mass communication to spread their portrayals of reality.

Drawing on a wide range of media products, from books and articles to films and television programs, as well as his own research in the field of propaganda studies, Messinger offers a fresh and comprehensive overview. He skillfully charts the path that has led us to our current situation and suggests where we might go next.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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