- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (March 14, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195102924
- ISBN-13: 978-0195102925
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 5.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare, 1945-1960 Reprint Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
"An intriguing picture of the relations between state power and the intellectual community...."--Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"An original and important contribution...."--Science
About the Author
Christopher Simpson is Associate Professor of Communication at American University. His other books include Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis & its Effect on the Cold War (1987), The Splendid Blond Beast: Money, Law & Genocide in the 20th Century (1993), and National Security Directives of the Reagan and Bush Administrations 1981-1991 (1995). He is the recipient of six national and international awards for historical writing, literature, and investigative reporting. His work has appeared in the Journal of Communication, Intelligence and National Security, and many other magazines and journals.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There used to be some.
Reading this book will immediately tell you why that curiosity has been smothered. It is a crucial book for all students of Cold War history and anyone curious about how power works in the 21st century.
Paradoxically, given the dominance of broadcast media and popular press as the primary means of mass communication used to reach into 'The Lonely Crowd' during Ellul's period of study in the mid-1960's, his inter-disciplinary socio-psychological approach may be more useful to us now in our online net-casting and narrow-casting age of distraction with the never-ending jihad and muddling of the old colonial maps and borders presently in shuffle mode. Moreso now than in 1965 as we witness rational cohorts within the Islamic Umma (perhaps with some regional and imperial counter-balancing) seeking to exploit cross-border crises in identity formation to opportunistically gain sway over legions of freshly recruited less-than-rational militant actors. Simpson's historical frame of the Cold War Industry years was a time of relative stability, most especially in terms of the individual as the bi-polar political globe sought to influence political formation more than identity formation. Social institutions, whether of the corporate or the governmental bureaucratic variety seemed less degraded by critical mass levels of corruption and they still held relative monopolies on acceptable dogmas, albeit shared with the charismatic and routinized characters and dogmas held over from less rational epochs.
Ellul's socio-psychological depths may be more relevant now in complementing Simpson's focus on the bureaucracies of social coercion, and yet even in a multi-faceted contest for spheres of influence that now includes theocracies and schismatic non-state forces with access to the U.S. dominated but increasingly globally competitive international high tech weapons markets in which small marginal players like Yemen's Houthis can leverage control over an entire nation state competing with technological and military empires and even with the fluidity of maps and borders in flux (not to mention ethnicities in flux with the masses of displaced persons both within those muddled borders and wandering the global stage and seas) any power structure will eventually have to decide how it is going to administer the new dogmas and shifting pluralities as the new charisma competitions are routinized with time into entities competing with the Neo-Liberal Economic paradigm that is built for longer-lasting usage than is the already obsolete Neo-Con political science of imperial balancing and counter-balancing. For more on the latter see Robert D. Kaplan in The Atlantic January\February 2012 on Mearsheimer and Walt's Poli Sci can of worms THE ISRAEL LOBBY & U.S. FOREIGN POLICY as well as David Remnick's NEW YORKER essay earlier in the kerfuffle titled "The Lobby" in the September 3, 2007 edition.
I agree with the reviewers of Ellul's PROPAGANDA who posted prior to my 2002 contribution and since who've attested to the value of Ellul's book, while also qualifying said value by noting that the systems of propaganda available for Ellul's study in 1965 have changed considerably since then.
As for the reviewer who complained about Ellul's study being limited to one nation's systems of propaganda, this criticism was also levelled against American mass communications researcher, Christopher Simpson, whose 1996 book titled SCIENCE OF COERCION used declassified archives to trace government's hidden funding of an entire new academic discipline, namely Communications. These two books, read alongside a book of essays by involved academics (some government-funded, others not) edited by Simpson and named UNIVERSITIES AND EMPIRE, Robert McChesney's RICH MEDIA, POOR DEMOCRACY, former ABC TV Producer of Children's Programming Dennis Mazzocco's NETWORKS OF POWER, and Chomsky & Herman's seminal content analysis study MANUFACTURING CONSENT provide a fairly inclusive frame of reference for studying propaganda systems, albeit primarily those of the western hemisphere.
Let us not forget University of California at Berkeley Professor Emeritus Peter Dale Scott, whose book-length confessional poem COMING TO JAKARTA re-examines his silence while faculty colleagues accepted grants from the U.S. military and CIA to target native Indonesian student leaders, trade unionists, and intellectual elites for assassination during the early 1960's. In an interview I conducted with Prof Scott for SF WEEKLY at the time of COMING TO JAKARTA's publication he further clarified that the group of academic contractors and colleagues working on government contract included economists working with the Indonesian military to prepare them for leading the resource-rich world's largest Islamic nation even as the Mighty Wurlitzer of covert Washington-generated propaganda was flooding Europe and the Soviet Iron Curtain lands with a new litmus test for the bi-polar FREE TRADE v. COMMUNIST paradigm that insisted that any military or centralized state control over markets identified that regime as being within the COMMUNIST sphere and fair game for regime change! Yet there was the 'Berkeley Mafia' on the ground with military elites across the Indonesian islands and occupied lands planning for the post-regime change in economic management of Indonesia's vast natural resource and manufacturing wealth.
More recently the 2012 Academy Award nominated 3 hours plus documentary on the Indonesian auto-genocide of the mid-1960's by Joshua Oppenheimer, ACT OF KILLING supports the paradigm shift occasioned by Prof. Scott's lyrical ruminations on academic mercenarial complicity in mass murder by researching across contemporary Indonesia and capturing on film the first-person accounts, remarkable and sociopathic in their lack of inhibition, as offered by a group of the more prolific of the Indonesian mass murderers during the mid-1960's as prone to the cheap Hollywood gangster film tropes they were guided by then in the ACT OF KILLING as now in the act of re-staging and retelling.
I am not a scholar or academic. Although I did co-produce and moderate a panel discussion as part of a community-radio sponsored (KPFA Pacifica Radio, Berkeley, CA) Town Hall meeting that invited Christopher Simpson to speak on the themes of his research as they applied to the late 1980's post-Soviet collapse milieu and the much-vaunted and snake-oil sold New Global Order. Remember the talk of a Peace Dividend? Yet wanting to understand the principles at work whenever I submit to the soothing rays of television or self-select the online screen via targeted search that I will gaze through seeking a frame on an unruly world, or as I enter the comforting parameters imposed whenever I pick up a daily newspaper, weekly advertiser and/or magazine has led me to continue seeking out the critical analysis offered by these books. Christopher Simpson's succinct formulation of what had previously been a subconscious preoccupation of mine just about sums it up: "How do we come to know what it is that we think we know?" The advantage in Simpson's book is that the footnotes can send a reader or media professional to documentation of the 'wizard' behind Media Oz. In one most startling case, given what we think we know about Harry Truman and his administration's interpretation of American constitutional principles, a single footnote can lead down a historical rabbit hole, or is it really Orwell's 'memory hole'? If not THE Cold War, at least A Cold War is never too far off.
Buy this book if you really want to know the details of every government grant that supported the foundation of communication science.
Do not buy this book if you want to understand what those grants--or those foundations--actually were all about.