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Propaganda  By  cover art

Propaganda

By: Edward Bernays,Mark Crispin Miller - introduction
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
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Publisher's Summary

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country." (Edward Bernays)

A seminal and controversial figure in the history of political thought and public relations, Edward Bernays pioneered the scientific technique of shaping and manipulating public opinion, which he famously dubbed the "engineering of consent". During World War I, he was an integral part of the US Committee on Public Information, or CPI, a powerful propaganda apparatus that was mobilized to package, advertise, and sell the war to the American people as one that would "Make the World Safe for Democracy". The CPI became the blueprint for the marketing strategies of future wars.

Bernays applied the techniques he had learned in the CPI and, incorporating some of the ideas of Walter Lipmann, became an outspoken proponent of propaganda as a tool for democratic and corporate manipulation of the population. His 1928 bombshell, Propaganda, lays out his eerily prescient vision for using propaganda to regiment the collective mind in a variety of areas, including government, politics, art, science, and education. To listen to this book today is to frightfully comprehend what our contemporary institutions of government and business have become in regard to the organized manipulation of the masses.

©1928 Edward Bernays (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Propaganda

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😧 wow! This seems very relevant!!

What did I just listen to? Did he just give us ‘the playbook’? Who is this guy, Bernays, other than ‘the father of public relations’? How much did he selectively disclose to us, and how much did he knowingly withholding? Did he foresee the media monopoly we currently have controlling us? I will be doing further research on this and re-listening to this one for sure!!

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SKIP THE INTRODUCTION

I would recommend that you skip the introduction; it is filled with spoilers and is more of a book review in content. Go to Chapter 2 to start the book.
Propaganda is incredible interesting and straight forward.

13 people found this helpful

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Manipulation 101

Definitely a dive into the Manipulation of the minds of the masses and how much care and consideration is payed to the endeavor! Our entire lives have been carefully constructed so we can become obedient sheep led to slaughter by our psychopathic shepherds!

10 people found this helpful

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This Classic is still very relevant.

Learning how Propaganda works is so important for dealing with all the information being thrown at us today. This book will help you understand and manage it very well.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent lesson in mass psychology.

This book bestows a terrific insight into the crucial mechanisms that mold the perception of the masses. This classic work is worthy of serious study and just may change the way you perceive the world around you.

7 people found this helpful

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pay closest to tension to the preface of this book

this book is a valuable learning tool so long as the reader does not merely accept the words of the author at their face value. The reality is that the entire book is itself propaganda for the use of more propaganda, and the author had an enormous financial interest in having others perceive his work as valuable. this gives an interesting insight as to methodologies that are still effective today, as well as interesting mental impressions of the self-proclaimed propagandist. I would be wearing of any moral claims made in this book because Mr Bernays was not a particularly moral person, in fact you willingly aided in the overthrow of governments.

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Skip the first chapter

The first chapter ironically is propaganda berating the writer and telling you what to think about the book before hearing the ideas and it tells you not eat bacon because it's out of date propagating the myth of saturated fat being bad for you.

2 people found this helpful

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Overrated

The way Noam Chomsky talks about this book, you'd think it was a rosetta stone to mass mind control. It turns out to be a collection of vague and unproven assertions about human malleability.

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Why is book still around?

What an antiquated book. Written in 1928, so much is missing: almost 100 years of propaganda, politics, history, changing attitudes, and technologies. I cannot believe this book is even offered on Audible.

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Totally outdated!

This book was written in 1928. So much more is known now from then that it is obsolete. Everything stated in the contents of this book is now general knowledge. Don’t waste your time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • loubee29
  • 01-31-21

Great read/listen, very interesting

The book was a bit dated on what I needed it for, but interesting and informative nonetheless.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Johan Ohlin
  • 09-10-22

Things change over time

It's interesting how concepts, like the word propaganda, can change so much over time. listening to this book gives you a view of what it meant 100 years ago, a bit different from today.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-22

Dry, Dull and Uninformative

Nothing but textbook readings of the types of propaganda and some rather underwhelming historical uses.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-22

Book is from 1928 not 2017

It's a good book that covers the basics but a little too theoretical for me and with outdated references. Still rather interesting but I thought it'd be a little more relevant as the page states released in 2017

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  • neddy
  • 01-24-21

very important book

this was a great book although outdated in the social media age it still remains very interesting you can adopt the ages for a modern age

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  • Mr. R. D. Cox
  • 12-10-20

Dull

Sadly out of date. Quaint, twee, and but no longer any use to anyone but history philes

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  • Stephen Doyle
  • 11-14-20

informative

Very informative. Equally relevant for todays world, with very clear chapter's as a reference to all aspects of public life.

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  • Jack
  • 05-02-20

good start but gets a bit drawn out toward the end

loved the start of this book... very clear and precise explanations of his "art" that are at the same time fascinating and unnerving.

but towards the latter chapters, it gets a bit too detail oriented

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  • stuart hearn
  • 09-14-21

old ideas for a new world

solid principles still relevant today in the making of our new world order propagandist utopia

1 person found this helpful

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  • MR B.
  • 11-04-22

I wish it were longer.

A very interesting book on the fundamentals of propaganda, with a positive perspective on the word. Despite being nearly 100 years old, the message and tactics of this book are still entirely relevant.

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  • Sweing
  • 06-19-22

Outdated business history

This may have been revolutionary when it came out but now it’s just out of date and not even interesting for historical purposes. The reading was good but the content uninteresting. The word propaganda was basically what we now call advertising

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  • Daryl
  • 04-23-22

A dark and foreboding legacy

Edward Bernays is titled the father of public relations. Yet, even a grand acknowledgement like this dramatically understates the impact he had on the 20th century. Today's social media influencers could only dream of the scale of impact of Bernays.

Born in Austria, a twice nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays graduated with a degree in agriculture and then took up a role in journalism. This led him to help the administration of Woodrow Wilson to promote the idea that World War I would help bring democracy to Europe.

The effectiveness of this campaign convinced him to test how it would work during peacetime. He used the term "public relations", as the term propaganda had negative implications after the Great War. In his book, he also refers to his wish to rehabilitate the word, ostensibly "to propagate".

He titled his approach "the engineering of consent", drawing on principles through his oft mentioned relationship with Uncle Sigmund. His method provided leaders with the means to "control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it".

His results were astounding. He promoted cigarette smoking among women by using the 1929 Easter Parade to promote fashionable young women with their "torches of freedom". Also associating the forest green colour of Lucky Strike packets as the most desirable fashion colour.

He was able to get 5,000 physicians to sign a statement saying a protein-rich breakfast of (say) bacon and eggs was better than a light one to help The Beech-Nut Packing Company sell more bacon, thus creating The American Breakfast.

In the 1950s Bernays worked with the United Fruit Company, a company that had cornered the market on banana production from Guatemala through exploitative practices. This is one of the so-called "banana republics" often spoken about. In 1952, the government of Guatemala began expropriating unused United Fruit Company land to landless peasants.

Bernays's propaganda campaign greatly influenced the government of the United States to stage a coup to remove the communist leaning President and replace him with a nationalistic candidate.

Despite being a Jew, Joseph Goebbels became an admirer of Bernays and his writing. Later on, once Goebbels became Hitler's Minister for Propaganda, using these principles to create the "Fuhrer cult" and to fuel the growing antisemitism of the time.

The book is a small book and one with significant historical importance and value. The author's rather candid way of explaining manipulation as a technical skill set has now grown into a reputable profession. Many issues he promoted, such as the creation of the White House Press Secretary, are now an established part of life. Four stars for the originality, at the time and the historical importance of this work.

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  • Robert Starreveld
  • 11-12-21

Highly Recommend for everyone

This book is a fantastic start to understand where the Public relations industry started, how it work and a good precursor to 'Manufacturing Consent' by Chomsky. This book along with 'How to Lie with Statistics' by Darrell Huff are incredibly important steps to understanding how western society really works and provides you with the bases on how to navigate it