Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare, 1945-1960

Overview

In this provocative study, Christopher Simpson demonstrates how the government-funded psychological warfare programs of the Cold War years underwrote the academic studies that formed the basis for much of modern communication research. U.S. psychological warfare programs in the Philippines, Middle East and Southeast Asia became essential in the creation and survival of what is widely considered to be mainstream mass communication studies. They aided in forming the widely held preconceptions that persist today in ...
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1994 Trade Paperback 2nd Printing Near Fine Large paperback in nearly new condition, one inconsequential flaw only: mild rubbing to the glossy cover, "Simpson's essay on ... psychological warfare adds new dimensions to our understanding of the important question of control of thought within democratic societies, and by their institutions. It also provides an intriguing picture of the relations between state power and the intellectual community, including the academic world and professions" Read more Show Less

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Overview

In this provocative study, Christopher Simpson demonstrates how the government-funded psychological warfare programs of the Cold War years underwrote the academic studies that formed the basis for much of modern communication research. U.S. psychological warfare programs in the Philippines, Middle East and Southeast Asia became essential in the creation and survival of what is widely considered to be mainstream mass communication studies. They aided in forming the widely held preconceptions that persist today in communication studies, public opinion research, and in the types of counterinsurgency operations that are today known as "public diplomacy" and "low intensity conflict." Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare, 1945-1960 provides the first thorough examination of the role of the CIA, Pentagon, and other U.S. security agencies in the evolution of modern communication studies. Christopher Simpson contends that it is unlikely that communication research could have emerged in its present form without regular transfusions of money from U.S. military, intelligence, and propaganda agencies during the Cold War. These agencies saw mass communication as an instrument for persuading or dominating targeted groups in the United States and abroad; as a tool for improving military operations; and perhaps most fundamentally, as a means to extend U.S. influence more widely than ever before at a relatively modest cost. Communication research, in turn, became for a time the preferred method for testing and developing such techniques. Science of Coercion outlines the history of U.S. psychological warfare between 1945 and 1960, discussing the underlying theories, activities, and administrative structure of this type of communication enterprise. In the process, Simpson documents the role played by prominent mass communication researchers including Wilbur Schramm, Ithiel de Sola Pool, Samuel Stouffer, and Paul Lazarsfield to demonstrate the links
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195102925
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Lexile: 1830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.19 (w) x 5.45 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Christopher Simpson is Assistant Professor of Communications at American University. He is the winner of five national and international prizes for historical writing, literature and investigative reporting since 1987.

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Table of Contents

1 Defining Psychological War 3
2 World War and Early Modern Communication Research 15
3 "The Social Scientists Make Huge Contribution" 31
4 Academic Advocates 42
5 Outposts of the Government 52
6 "Barrack and Trench Mates" 63
7 Internationalization and Enforcement of the Paradigm of Domination 94
8 The Legacy of Psychological Warfare 107
Appendix: Dr. Stuart Dodd's List of "Revere-Connected Papers" (1958) 118
Bibliographic Essay 123
Notes 133
Index 195
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