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The first of three volumes that will serve as a comprehensive and inclusive finding tool, this work defines propaganda in an uncertain postmodern information age. Linked to the U.S. Constitution, mass media, and business, the role propaganda plays must be understood in terms of an information-based economy. An extensive chronology of propaganda-related events, plus an A-Z guide defining hundreds of important terms (some ill-defined in context, such as backdoor contact and spin doctor), combine to meet an immediate need for an easy-to-use resource that not only credibly defines the field but stimulates new research.
Americans have had a love-hate relationship with propaganda since before the nation itself existed. The thesis of this work is that propaganda is as American as apple pie. The right to persuade and communicate is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The technologies and business aspects of mass media that shape culture around the world were perfected in America; hundreds of thousands of people find employment in various persuasion industries. Propaganda is becoming even more essential to maintaining social cohesion in a multiculturally diverse society. The three volumes in this series act as a finding tool that distinctively crossed over artificial barriers to open new approaches to understanding the phenomenon that defines our time. This work clarifies what propaganda is or is not as it knives through the confusion surrounding the imprecise terminology and lack of historical background to often associated with its study.