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The Responsive Chord: How media manipulate you: what you buy... who you vote for... and how you think. Paperback – January 10, 2017

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

"I read The Responsive Chord as a freshman in college and it affected everything I've ever made since. Its message is practical and deep. I'd recommend it to anyone."
Ira Glass, Creator & Host of NPR's This American Life

"Tony Schwartz was a genius in his understanding of the communications revolution of the 20th century. My interview with him was one of my favorites and one of the most important of my own long career in broadcast journalism."
Bill Moyers, Journalist, Political Commentator and White House Press Secretary

"Tony Schwartz was not only an original theorist but a master persuader whose must-read book is brimming with indispensable insight about how humans construct meaning through media."
Prof. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center

"Here's the still-true story about how a media environment can shape our thoughts, our purchases and, yes, our votes. It's not just the content that influences us; if only it were that simple. No, it's the media themselves, the political economy driving them, and the atomizing impact of their targeted messaging. Maybe reading this book will prepare us to think more critically about the way social media is used on, and against us today."
Douglas Rushkoff, author, Program or Be ProgrammedPresent Shock, and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

"The Responsive Chord had a profound impact on me when I first read it as a teenager, and it sparked a lifelong interest in the impact of media and technology in education. Re-reading it today, Tony Schwartz's observations about education in a media-saturated environment are deeply prescient and more relevant than ever."
Luyen Chou, Chief Product Officer, Pearson Education

"I keep talking to Tony, learning from Tony, practically every day. Radio and audio are Tony's World. We just live in it."
Christopher Lydon, Radio Host of The Connection and Open Source, former New York Times Journalist

About the Author

Tony Schwartz (1923-2008) has been described as a "media guru," a "media genius" and a "media muscleman." Schwartz created commercials for over four hundred corporations, designed sound for sixteen Broadway shows, and was a four-time winner at the Cannes Film festival. As a specialist in political media, he produced television and radio commercials for the campaigns of two U.S. Presidents, as well as hundreds of candidates at all levels of government. He was the creator of the first anti-smoking ad, the first ads to use voices of real children (instead of adult actors), and Daisy, the 1964 commercial for President Johnson that remains the most talked-about political ad in television history. For more than thirty years, he produced and hosted a weekly radio show, Around New York, on WNYC. A recipient of three honorary doctorates, Schwartz lectured worldwide and taught media studies at New York University, Harvard, Columbia and Fordham. He produced and recorded over a dozen commercial records; one of them, New York Taxi Driver, was among the first 100 recordings inducted into the National Recording Registry. In 2007, Schwartz's entire body of work was acquired by the Library of Congress.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mango; 2nd edition (January 10, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 196 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 163353605X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1633536050
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 20 ratings

About the author

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Tony Schwartz (1923-2008) was a media theorist, audio documentarian and advertising creator. Considered a guru of the newly emerging "electronic media" by Marshall McLuhan, Schwartz ushered in a new age of media study in the 1970's. His works anticipated the end of the print-based media age, and pointed to a new electronic age of mass media. Known as the "wizard of sound," he is perhaps best known for creating the most talked about political commercial in television history: the "Daisy" ad for the 1964 Lyndon Johnson campaign.

Schwartz began recording sounds of New York City - street sounds, musicians and conversations - releasing over a dozen albums on Folkways Records and Columbia Records. One of his albums, New York Taxi Driver, was among the first 100 recordings inducted into the U.S. National Recording Registry. From 1945 to 1976, Schwartz produced and hosted "Around New York" on WNYC.

He transitioned into advertising work in 1958 when approached by Johnson and Johnson about creating ads for their baby powder, because of his reputation for recording children. His resulting work is often credited as the first use of children's real voices in radio commercials (previously children had been portrayed by specially trained adults).

Briefly specializing in advertising using children, he soon broadened into general advertising, creating ads for such clients as Coca Cola, American Airlines, Chrysler, American Cancer Society, and Kodak.

Schwartz subsequently shifted his advertising work toward political campaigns. While continuing to create product ads, he created thousands of political ads for such candidates as Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

In a final transition in his career, he turned his energies toward public interest advertising for social causes. Early in his career he had created the first anti-smoking commercials for television and radio. In the 1980s he resumed these efforts, creating many anti-smoking commercials, as well as media work for such causes as fire prevention, AIDS awareness, educational funding and nuclear disarmament.

In 2007, Schwartz's entire body of work, including field recordings and commercials, was acquired by the Library of Congress.

For more information, visit Tony Schwartz's web site.

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