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Toxic Sludge is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2000

    A very informative book

    This is one of the most informative and well-researched books I have ever read. It amazes and enrages me to think that US-based PR companies are allowed to work for foreign governments in order to influence our own policymakers. This book shows that we are not free thinkers(no matter how much we think we are) and that we are constantly bombarded with well orchestrated government and corporate PR campaigns in the war to shape public opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2009

    Good, but way too slanted.

    This book sheds a lot of light on the types of questionable and downright un-ethical PR practices that have occurred in the United States. I did however feel it was overly biased. The authors relentlessly unearth the evils of the PR machine, but become guilty themselves of slanting the issues.

    I'm fairly moderate--being conservative one some issues and liberal on others. Stauber and Rampton don't even try to hide their far left leanings. I found it especially interesting in chapter 10 "The Torturers Lobby" the authors don't mention a single socialist/communist regime in their list of countries with severe human rights abuses and the propaganda that supported them. No mention of Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao's Great Leap Forward in China, or Pol-Pot's reign of terror in Cambodia? Instead they list South Korea as one of the governments with severe human rights abuses (pg. 150) SOUTH KOREA??? Do they seriously think that South Korea deserves to be on this list before NORTH Korea or China or Cuba or Iran?

    The book starts out as a good critique of the PR business, but seemed to slowly digress into a mere diatribe about the socio-economic issues themselves and less on the PR issues. If one didn't know better, it would seem that the only people and entities guilty of PR abuses are Republicans, Christians and big business.

    We can all agree that the examples in the book are despicable, and that the public has a right not to be deceived. The authors seem to think however that if PR would just stop covering up for big business; the Republican Party; Christians; and our evil government, that war, poverty, pollution, disease and torture would simply vanish into thin air. In my opinion they fail to realize at a fundamental level, these are ethical issues that go far beyond the scope of PR.

    Humans have wrestled with these issues since the dawn of time, let alone since the founding of Burson-Marsteller or Ketchum. While it's easy to naysay and blame the "system", it's not so easy to propose a viable solution. Do we tear down civilization and go back to a hunter/gatherer society? It's easy to complain about big business, yet we all like our indoor plumbing, cars, laundry detergent, IPods, cell phones, diet cokes and cable TV. We don't want to know how any of or modern conveniences are provided just so long as we can flush our toilet. Unless Stauber and Rampton's book was printed on 100% recycled paper with only water based coating and with soy and vegetable based inks in a factory run on 100% wind power...well you get the point.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2002

    Must Read Book!

    This book is a must read for anyone! Very informative, great research has been done for his book. Amazing book and brilliant authors.

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