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Weapons of Democracy

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781421417363
Author(s): Jonathan Auerbach
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2015
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Dimensions: 239 x 0 x 159 (w x l x h)
Pages: 232
Pages: 17
Series: New Studies In American Intellectual And Cultural History

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Following World War I, political commentator Walter Lippmann worried that citizens increasingly held inaccurate and misinformed beliefs because of the way information was produced, circulated, and received in a mass-mediated society. Lippmann dubbed this manipulative opinion-making process 'the manufacture of consent.' A more familiar term for such large-scale persuasion would be propaganda. In Weapons of Democracy, Jonathan Auerbach explores how Lippmann's stark critique gave voice to a set of misgivings that had troubled American social reformers since the late nineteenth century. Progressives, social scientists, and muckrakers initially drew on mass persuasion as part of the effort to mobilize sentiment for their own cherished reforms, including regulating monopolies, protecting consumers, and promoting disinterested, efficient government. 'Propaganda' was associated with public education and consciousness raising for the good of the whole.
By the second decade of the twentieth century, the need to muster support for American involvement in the Great War produced the Committee on Public Information, which zealously spread the gospel of American democracy abroad and worked to stifle dissent at home. After the war, public relations firms-which treated publicity as an end in itself-proliferated. Weapons of Democracy traces the fate of American public opi Please click here to ask a question
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