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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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Great read/listen, very interesting

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

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this was a great book although outdated in the social media age it still remains very interesting you can adopt the ages for a modern age

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Dull

Sadly out of date.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

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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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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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  • Scott A Kessler
  • 28-04-20

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.

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  • Samuel
  • 04-05-20

😧 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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  • jennifer miller
  • 10-05-20

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!

8 people found this helpful

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  • E F
  • 09-10-18

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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  • William
  • 14-08-17

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.

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  • Brice
  • 25-05-21

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.

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  • A. Ligon
  • 12-12-20

Out of date, not enjoyable

I saw a lot of reviews talking about how relevant this is, that it could have been written yesterday. I think these people read the title, read maybe one chapter and posted a review. The book is stale, irrelevant, and so dated that it’s hard to take seriously. I can understand that it was probably an important work and it’s time, but I see very little value in it. Sorry, not sorry.

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  • Patrick
  • 02-11-20

Dated but interesting

Written between the world wars, it's an interesting historical piece. The basic concepts still apply but the examples given smack of 100 years ago.

1 person found this helpful

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  • benjamin r.
  • 19-01-20

a little dry

narrator lacks passion of subject matter. needs to be read by a real car salesman.

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  • Arthur Prilutzki
  • 02-05-18

Very basic for experienced readers

If you are active in the field of advertising or PR, you may find this book very elementary.
Yet, if you’re looking for the general understanding of “What is propaganda” (not “how to”), this book will deliver.

1 person found this helpful