BN.com Gift Guide

Propaganda 1776: Secrets, Leaks, and Revolutionary Communications in Early America

Overview


1776 symbolizes a moment, both historical and mythic, of democracy in action. That year witnessed the release of a document, which Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations and spin, would later label as a masterstroke of propaganda. Although the Declaration of Independence relies heavily on the empiricism of self-evident truths, Bernays, who had authored the influential manifesto Propaganda in 1928, suggested that what made this iconic document so effective was not its sober rationalism but its ...
See more details below
Hardcover
$29.44
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$35.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $30.17   
  • New (6) from $30.99   
  • Used (1) from $30.17   
Propaganda 1776: Secrets, Leaks, and Revolutionary Communications in Early America

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$16.79
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$23.99 List Price

Overview


1776 symbolizes a moment, both historical and mythic, of democracy in action. That year witnessed the release of a document, which Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations and spin, would later label as a masterstroke of propaganda. Although the Declaration of Independence relies heavily on the empiricism of self-evident truths, Bernays, who had authored the influential manifesto Propaganda in 1928, suggested that what made this iconic document so effective was not its sober rationalism but its inspiring message that ensured its dissemination throughout the American colonies. Propaganda 1776 reframes the culture of the U.S. Revolution and early Republic, revealing it to be rooted in a vast network of propaganda.

Drawing on a wide-range of resources, Russ Castronovo considers how the dispersal and circulation-indeed, the propagation-of information and opinion across the various media of the eighteenth century helped speed the flow of revolution. This book challenges conventional wisdom about propaganda as manipulation or lies by examining how popular consent and public opinion in early America relied on the spirited dissemination of rumor, forgery, and invective. While declarations about self-evident truths were important to liberty, the path toward American independence required above all else the spread of unreliable intelligence that travelled at such a pace that it could be neither confirmed nor refuted. By tracking the movements of stolen documents and leaked confidential letters, this book argues that media dissemination created a vital but seldom acknowledged connection between propaganda and democracy.

The spread of revolutionary material in the form of newspapers, pamphlets, broadsides, letters, songs, and poems across British North America created multiple networks that spawned new and often radical ideas about political communication. Communication itself became revolutionary in ways that revealed circulation to be propaganda's most vital content. By examining the kinetic aspects of print culture, Propaganda 1776 shows how the mobility of letters, pamphlets, and other texts amounts to political activity par excellence. With original examinations of Ben Franklin, Mercy Otis Warren, Tom Paine, and Philip Freneau among a crowd of other notorious propagandists, this book examines how colonial men and women popularized and spread the patriot cause across America.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Neo-whig historians attacked progressive historians who debunked patriot 'propaganda' by telling us that American revolutionaries were true believers, if ideological, and radical in ways we can embrace without much reservation. Too often this has devolved into another version of American exceptionalism. Russ Castronovo has another take on their political talents: he finds a creative resistance to power in the modes of dissemination as much as their message. The radicalism of the Revolution is back up for grabs in this fascinating corrective." --David Waldstreicher, author of Runaway America and Slavery's Constitution

"Castronovo deftly-even audaciously-shuttles his way back and forth across the last three centuries to uncover the democratic work of propaganda operative at the nation's founding and continuing to this day. Understanding propaganda as a lateral and volatile form of 'communications in motion,' Castronovo especially challenges our ideas about Revolutionary-era texts, redefining what they meant by recovering how they moved. Propaganda 1776 will be of great interest to scholars of U.S. literary, communications, media and political history." --Susan Scott Parrish, author of American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World

"Propaganda 1776 is an elegantly written, compellingly conceptualized book. A provocative read from page to page, it makes an original argument about the American Revolution by reviving and revivifying the concept of propaganda." --Konstantin Dierks, author of In My Power: Letter Writing and Communications in Early America

"In Propaganda 1776, Russ Castronovo sets forth a bold new paradigm of early American letters--one that describes the printscape of revolutionary era writing in vivid terms, and locates the meaning and significance of texts in their capacity to spread and propagate rather than in their truth content. This important book challenges us to reconsider pieties of the Habermasian public sphere and classical republicanism in early America and invites rich speculation on the relation of media and democracy." --Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, author of New World Drama: The Performative Commons in the Atlantic World, 1649-1849

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Russ Castronovo is Tom Paine Professor of English and Dorothy Draheim Professor of American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His previous books include Beautiful Democracy: Aesthetics and Anarchy in a Global Era, Necro Citizenship: Death, Eroticism, and the Public Sphere in the Nineteenth-Century United States, and Fathering the Nation: American Genealogies of Slavery and Freedom.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Printscapes and Propaganda
I. State Secrets: Ben Franklin and WikiLeaks
II. Memes, Plagiarism, and Revolutionary Drama
III. From East India to the Boston Tea Party: Propaganda at the Extremes
IV. Epistolary Propaganda: Counterfeits, Stolen Letters, and Transatlantic Revolutions
V. Aftermath: The Poetry of the Post-Revolution
Coda
Bibliography

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)