Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda

Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda

by Noam Chomsky

Audio Other(Other - Abridged)

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Overview

Noam Chomsky’s backpocket classic on wartime propaganda and opinion control begins by asserting two models of democracy—one in which the public actively participates, and one in which the public is manipulated and controlled. According to Chomsky, "propaganda is to democracy as the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state," and the mass media is the primary vehicle for delivering propaganda in the United States. From an examination of how Woodrow Wilson’s Creel Commission "succeeded, within six months, in turning a pacifist population into a hysterical, war-mongering population," to Bush Sr.'s war on Iraq, Chomsky examines how the mass media and public relations industries have been used as propaganda to generate public support for going to war. Chomsky further touches on how the modern public relations industry has been influenced by Walter Lippmann’s theory of "spectator democracy," in which the public is seen as a "bewildered herd" that needs to be directed, not empowered; and how the public relations industry in the United States focuses on "controlling the public mind," and not on informing it. Media Control is an invaluable primer on the secret workings of disinformation in democratic societies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583226643
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication date: 12/15/2004
Series: Open Media Series
Edition description: Abridged
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.36(d)

About the Author

NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political and philosophical writings as well as for his groundbreaking linguistics work. He has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955 and remains one of America's most uncompromising voices of dissent.

Table of Contents

Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda9
Early History of Propaganda11
Spectator Democracy14
Public Relations22
Engineering Opinion30
Representation As Reality35
Dissident Culture38
Parade of Enemies42
Selective Perception46
The Gulf War53
The Journalist From Mars69
About the Author101
About Seven Stories Press101
About Open Media Pamphlets and Books102

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Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No matter what this previous reviewer claims, this book is worthwhile. It discusses the various government projects that have been used to control public opinion. The book is intriguing, insightful, and honest. The wanton bitterness of the previous reviewer is perhaps credited to his own lack of achievement and resultant spitefulness toward Mr. Chomsky. The book does not use slanted information to persuade readers into thinking one way or the other; it's genuine.(Besides, it's so short that you can go sit at the store and read it quickly; that's what I did.) The lack of reviews can be attributed to the fact that bn.com has had problems with posting reviews. (I received specific directions on how to do so.) But it's much easier to assume that the absence of reviews directly equates to the lack of popularity than to actually think about what this book has to offer. So flock to the nearest B&N today and give it a try.
sa54d on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Around 2005 I cataloged a video for the library where I work. In 1990 Edward Bernays, the creator of public relations as we presently understand it, spoke at my school. He was about 100 years old at the time and died a few years later. He gave a fascinating talk and although all that happened was a staionary camera focused on him as he told stories for a couple of hours I took a bit longer to catalog the tape for having found myself taken up with the narrative. He told a story about World War I in which he mentioned, only in passing, that at the time he was doing some "work as a civilian advisor' to the War Department. He did not say "the Creel Commission," which leads me to believe that he at least had some idea that many view his work as something other than noble or admirable. If he thought his work good and honorable, why did he talk about anything else but how he helped invent propaganda and worked to bring the United States into the First World War. This book by Chomsky provides the background and context to help understand how one of the father's of propaganda would evade credit (or blame?) while telling the story of public relations. Unlike his longer books, this one proves very easy to read and much more straight-forward. Small independent presses have, over the last 10 years or so, published short, pocket sized, books of Chomsky's thoughts on a given theme. When heavily edited, Chomsky comes across as far more accessible and understandable than in any of his larger works, such as Necessary Illusions or Manufacturing Consent.The word "Propoganda" has acquired a pejorative meaning. Those creating and disseminating it have a need to avoid having their life's work recognized for what it is. As such you read and hear numerous definitions of "propaganda" and various self-serving explanations of what does and does not constitute this type of communication. Chomsky takes most of the book to describe and define propaganda and place it in the context of U.S. history.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It was amazing to watch a master of propaganda use every trick of the trade to create his own master propaganda work. This man has no enlightenment to offer but he does a wonderful job of proving that propaganda is not the sole province of the 'media'. Judging from the reviews, he also shows that propaganda is still highly effective! No wonder it's so popular. Thanks, Noam, for a lesson in master manipulation disguised as an exposee of the master manipulators! Incredible!