Selling War to America: From the Spanish American War to the Global War on Terror

Overview

Battles are won in combat. Wars are won by winning the hearts and minds of the people. Selling War to America provides a thought-provoking look at the propaganda efforts the U.S. government has exerted to that end. It begins with an examination of the government's campaign to instigate a war with Spain and ends with a review of the methods being used to encourage support for the War Against Terrorism. The book analyzes each of these wars within the context of the techniques used to generate public support, also ...

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Selling War to America: From the Spanish American War to the Global War on Terror

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Overview

Battles are won in combat. Wars are won by winning the hearts and minds of the people. Selling War to America provides a thought-provoking look at the propaganda efforts the U.S. government has exerted to that end. It begins with an examination of the government's campaign to instigate a war with Spain and ends with a review of the methods being used to encourage support for the War Against Terrorism. The book analyzes each of these wars within the context of the techniques used to generate public support, also examining the results of propaganda efforts, both before and after each conflict. From these historical analyses, noting both the blunders and the triumphs of the past century, the authors offer the keys to successfully persuading the American public to support wars that must be fought.

Lies were told and truths withheld because government and military leaders did not trust the American people to make appropriate decisions concerning our national security. The attacks of September 11, 2001, on The World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon have summoned the American people to a war on terrorism. The U.S. government is now trying to mobilize American public opinion to support this war. But this is just the most recent example of how our government has sought to enlist broad public support for the wars it has waged. The job of informing and persuading America to support its war efforts has become increasingly more challenging as media technologies, like instant global coverage of television news and the Internet, reach into every American home.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Authors Secunda and Moran investigate how the US goes to war—from the Spanish-American War to the war on terror—with the thesis that several administrations used propaganda to sell war to the American public. In the case of wars declared by Congress, administrations were often aided by third parties and fortuitous events: the sinking of the Maine, and a jingoistic Hearst-Pulitzer press's call for war with Spain; in WWI, U-boat attacks, the sinking of the Lusitania, and the British invention of bogus atrocities to arouse the public; in WWII, isolationist America's response to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The authors find that undeclared wars were often prompted by presidential actions: Korea was a UN police action; Vietnam was fought to halt the spread communism; the Gulf War ostensibly was fought to restore an insubstantial Arab democracy (Kuwait) and retaliate for atrocities (staged and promoted by a public relations firm). The authors devote major attention to the Iraq War, instigated by doubtful CIA intelligence and phantom weapons of mass destruction in a nation not proven to be a sponsor of terror. The authors argue that Bush and Cheney sold the war by exploiting post-9/11 fears. A provocative book. Recommended. General readers, all undergraduate students, graduate students, and research faculty."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275995232
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/2007
  • Series: Praeger Security International Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

EUGENE SECUNDA teaches at New York University and is the author of Shifting Time and Space: The Story of Videotape (Praeger, 1991). From 1993 until 1999, Dr. Secunda was Director of Corporate Communications for Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (CME), a television station group that launched and operated eight privately owned national television stations that reach 100 million people in Central and Eastern Europe.

TERENCE P. MORAN is Professor and Director of the Media Ecology Faculty in the Department of Culture and Communication in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Selling War to America     1
The Splendid Little War-The Spanish-American War     11
The Great War-World War I     26
The Good War-World War II     47
The Forgotten War-Korea     75
The Domino Theory War-Vietnam     92
Operation Desert Storm-The Persian Gulf War     120
The Global War on Terror-Iraq     144
What We Learned     180
Notes     195
Bibliography     213
Index     225
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