[Read by Grover Gardner]
''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 read 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.
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Edward Bernays (1891-1995) was an Austrian American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda and was referred to in his obituary as ''the father of public relations.'' He combined the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. He was named one of the hundred most influential Americans of the twentieth century by Life magazine.
Audiobook Narrator Bio: Grover Gardner is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the ''Best Voices of the Century'' and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.
''Bernays' honest and practical manual provides much insight into some of the most powerful and influential institutions of contemporary industrial state capitalist democracies.'' --Noam Chomsky, American linguist, philosopher, and social activist
''Released in 1928, this was the first book that explored the use of propaganda as a government and business means of manipulating the masses. Bernays, the first public relations guru, was in charge of the US Committee on Public Information, which had the task of designing an ad campaign to make World War I look like a good idea. Somehow it worked. He discusses that and much more here.'' --Library Journal
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