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Public Opinion

4.1 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) was an American intellectual who was a writer, reporter, and political commentator, who twice was awarded, in 1958 and 1962, a Pulitzer Prize for his syndicated newspaper column, "Today and Tomorrow".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453602771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453602775
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,545,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on July 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Way back in 1922, Walter Lippmann analyzed the nature of public opinion with many valuable insights that still hold true today. Note that most of the historical references Lippmann uses to illustrate his theories are from World War I and surrounding events, and some aspects of the political environment of the time are totally irrelevant today. However, this book rises above the confines of its time. Lippmann dealt in an interdisciplinary method that is extremely rare, if not structurally impossible, in today's academic environment. His basic treatise is in the realm of political science but ably brings in supporting theories and knowledge from psychology, sociology, communications, history, and logic. Lippmann's then-current style of writing is also nearly impossible to find in today's social science writing, with a flowing prose loaded with references to classic literature and frequent use of imagined characters and scenarios. Part VI offers a surprisingly no-holds-barred examination of the American political system that is refreshingly free of today's unyielding us-and them ideologies. This feat of the intellect, just slightly outdated in its specific examples but not in its underlying insights, is a powerhouse treatise on how public opinion is constructed and influenced by social trends, politics, and media. [~doomsdayer520~]
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Format: Paperback
In PUBLIC OPINION, we have 1 of the foundational texts in the forming of present day public relations. According to all I've read on Walter Lippmann, he was the most influential pundit of his era, so to read his assessment of the public's opinion & what it's worth & how it must be tamed, we (the readers) are being given access to the core elements that lead to what we know today as government & business propaganda.

Lippmann was part of the Creel Committee, whose job it was to sell the idea that America should get involved in World War I to the American people...so the importance of peeking into the thought processes behind that campaign of pro-war propaganda is a priceless opportunity.

If you wish to understand what those in power actually think of the public's importance in a democracy (or democratic republic), make sure you read this book...twice!
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Format: Paperback
In this book, the first pundit Walter Lippmann speaks about the journalism, democracy, and the American people - creating a picture that's not pretty but remains very true up until this day. Lippmann's style may be difficult for some, but those who endeavour to read will find it fascinating.

Through the book, Lippmann talks about how there is no real public opinion, how most people have a very limited view of the government, and how the government synthesizes complex views into either-or issues (i.e. "pro-life" v.s. "pro-choice"). The journalists, who should help the American people understand the issue, end up doing little at all. Lippmann offers no real solutions in this book, but for anyone who wants a wake-up call for what's wrong with the government, they should spurn Michael Moore and Ann Coulter and turn to this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been looking for a decent printing of this incredible book for a long time, but I was foiled again. It seems that this hard-cover Kessinger Publishing version was produced without any quality control whatsoever. Some of the flaws in the printing cause entire pages to be unreadable. The printing of this edition is so deeply flawed it's at the point of being infuriating.

Here are only some of the problems I found -

- Some pages are "wavy" and blurred to the point of being absolutely unreadable. What is said on these pages, I will never know. This flaw resembles what would happen if one were to copy a document on a photocopier while pulling the document out at the same time.

- Random pages are printed with a very dark grey background - making the text quite difficult to see.

- Literally every other page of the book has a strange printing flaw where, at the top of these pages, there is a strange image - something that resembles an accidental, nonsensical banner ad. It's quite large. It seems as if in this image, the mechanics of the scanning equipment are visible. Interesting in it's own weird way I suppose, but very unprofessional and distracting.

Somebody didn't care.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I think Walter Lippmann can be rightly called the father of modern American Journalism. It is remarkable to think that when most of the world's press was still not free, Mr. Lippmann's concern was how facts where distorted by the news media of the free world. What is even more remarkable is how much his concerns are current. The proliferation of internet media was not done anything to mitigate his concerns. If anything it has amplified it. Because once again these distortions are not at its root the actions stemming from some sinister plots, they are the results of biases and weaknesses that ordinary people living in free communities share. You need a free and enlightened citizenry before you can have a free and truthful media. Once you read this book your world will never be the same again. Like Christopher Hitchens you too will start to read popular media to find what other people think the news is.
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