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314 of 320 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars--but Not in a literary sense, November 26, 2002
This review is from: Propaganda (Hardcover)
The first lines: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true rulling power of our country." This was written in 1928. This newphew of Sigmund Freud worked in Woodrow Wilson's creation, the Committee on Public Information, and saw first hand how the public's mind can be manipulated. Wilson was elected on a peace platform and had to transform the country to go to war against the German Kaiser. Bernays later helped publicize the American Tobacco Company, and is credited as a "father" of public relations. Anyone interested in understanding how the masses are moulded by the powers that be must read this book!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 8, 2010 9:11:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2010 9:19:52 PM PST
Defender says:
Bernays admits in Propaganda, the atrocities the U.S. fought against in WWI were "alleged." I got the impression that meant made up. For a new perspective on why the U.S. got into WWI, watch Robert Newman's "History of Oil" Try Googling it because I don't think it was ever released in the U.S.

You also get the impression a lot was made up in relation to WWI by Bernays's colleague Walter Lippmann. Propaganda is kind of like a Cliff Notes version of of Walter Lippmann's 1922 book Public Opinion

Also the introduction in this reprint of Propaganda by Mark Crispin Miller points you to Falsehood in Wartime: Propaganda Lies of the First World War, which was published in 1928 the same year Bernays published Propaganda.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2011 3:51:24 PM PST
R. Bartlett says:
Good information.
Thank you

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 8:04:19 PM PDT
My historical bent leads me to wonder about the sources of Bernays' ideas,, some of which appear to be group applications of ideas (particularly revision of his theories in the early 1920s) of individual psychology to the group or masses--ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. Bernays was published in German, and perhaps this information is discussed in the Introduction, which is noted to be long. Perhaps this is for good reason, but I will have to read it to comment. The notion that Dr. Freud would have had such a great influence on the media and commercial decisions of individuals is very interesting, considering how Psychoanalysis was received and embraced, at great cost, to those well-off enough to afford years of analysis on the upper East side of NYC.
In many cases, psychoanalysis as a business, or medical practice, was conducted in the first half of the 20th century mainly by expat European doctors fleeing fascism. Propaganda methods were most certainly used to popularize the "necessity" of undergoing analysis to reach a state of near-perfection mentally.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2015 3:59:56 PM PST
The advertisement of psychoanalisis would fall under the category of individual practitioners or perhaps companies who provide psychoanalisis to their customers. State propaganda is something more different and more sinister. To get everyone to believe that we must go to war and kill millions of people is an incredible accomplishment.
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