Propaganda bibliography suggestions

“Certain general works are useful starting points, such as Oliver
Thomson’s illustrated Mass Persuasion in History (1977) and Anthony
Rhodes’s Propaganda (1976). A seminal work by a sociologist is Jacques
Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1957), but the
same author’s The Technological Society (1964) is an invaluable compendium.
More recently, two psychologists have tackled the subject from
a contemporary point of view in Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson,
Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion (1991).
Another psychological perspective is offered by G.H. Jamieson, Communication
and Persuasion (1985).

Guy Arnold’s Brainwash: The Cover-up
Society (1992) is better than its title. The best single-volume introduction
is edited by ‘old masters’ Harold Lasswell, Daniel Lerner and Hans Speier,
Propaganda and Communication in World History (1979). Other
invaluable works include T.H. Qualter’s Propaganda and Psychological
Warfare (1962) and his Opinion Control in the Democracies (1985), Elias
Canetti’s Crowds and Power (1963), Sam Keen’s Face of the Enemy (1986),
F.H. Hartmann’s The Conservation of Enemies (1982), Garth Jowett and
Victoria O’Donnell’s Propaganda and Persuasion (1986) and Charles
Roetter’s Psychological Warfare (1974).

I, personally, dislike Laurence
Rees’s Selling Politics (1992); the BBC TV programmes it was written to
accompany (‘We Have Ways of Making You Think’) were better. No
examination of this topic can avoid Walter Lippmann’s seminal Public
Opinion (1922). Useful approaches to related persuasive techniques such
as advertising include: A. & J. Trout, Positioning: The Battle For Your
Mind (1987), S. Fox, The Mirror Makers (1984) and W. Schramm (ed.),
The Science of Human Communication (1963). Vance Packard’s The
Hidden Persuaders (1957) was the classic of its time about advertising, as
was J.A.C. Brown’s Techniques of Persuasion (1963).


For the twentieth century, there is a veritable wealth of published
works far too numerous to mention here. Much has been pioneered in the
works of Nicholas Pronay. The shortest available introduction is Ken
Ward’s Mass Communications and the Modern World (1989). However,
certain important works cannot be overlooked, most notably Michael
Balfour, Propaganda in War 1939-45 (1978), Nicholas Reeves, Official
British Film Propaganda in the First World War (1986), N. Pronay and
D.W. Springs (eds), Propaganda, Politics and Film, 1918-45 (1982),
K.R.M. Short, Film and Radio Propaganda in the Second World War
(1983), Richard Taylor, Film Propaganda (1979), Robert E. Herzstein,
The War that Hitler Won (1979), C.R. Koppes and G.D. Black, Hollywood
Goes to War (1987), J. Leyda, Kino (1960), P. Kenez, The Birth of
the Propaganda State (1985), Anthony Aldgate and Jeffrey Richards,
Britain Can Take It (1986), David Welch, The Third Reich: Politics and
Propaganda (1993) and Clive Coultass, Images for Battle (1989).

Since this book first appeared in 1990, several major new contributions
have appeared. Philip Bell made an important contribution to our
knowledge of the Second World War propaganda with John Bull and the
Bear: British Public Opinion, Foreign Policy and the Soviet Union, 1941-
45 (1990) and an important American work is by H. Winkler, The
Censored War: American Visual Experience in World War Two (1992).
The First World War has received new contributions in the form of P.
Buitenhuis, The Great War of Words: Literature as Propaganda, 1914-18
and After (1989) and Gary Messinger, British Propaganda and the State in
the First World War (1992). Both acknowledge, as all works dealing with
the First World War must do, the earlier work of Harold Lasswell,
Propaganda Technique in the World War (1927). Lord Ponsonby’s bestselling
Falsehood in Wartime (1927) provides an indication of popular
misconception of the real nature of propaganda.

The Cold War has received recent attention in Fred Inglis, The Cruel
Peace: Living through the Cold War (1991) and Robert B. Bathurst,
Intelligence and the Mirror: On Creating an Enemy (1993). Black radio
propaganda’s origins are discussed by L.C. Soley in Radio Warfare: OSS
and CIA Subversive Propaganda (1989). Older works include James
Aronsen, The Press and the Cold War (1970) and J.C. Clews, Communist
Propaganda Techniques (1964) and Richard H. Scultz and Roy Godson,
Dezinformatsia: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy (1984). See also P.
Biskind, Seeing is Believing: How Hollywood Taught Us to Stop Worrying
and Love the Fifties (1983). Science fiction films from the period are
reasonably well served in John Brosnan’s The Primal Screen (1991), a
largely personal labour of love, as is Stephen E. Pease, Psywar: Psychological
Warfare in Korea, 1950-53 (1992). V. Kortunov, The Battle of
Ideas in the Modern World (Moscow, 1979) and Georgi Arbatov, The
War of Ideas in Contemporary International Relations (Moscow, 1973)
reveal how the Soviets viewed the ideological struggle in the Cold War. A
more dispassionate analysis is to be found in Marian Leighton, Soviet
Propaganda as a Foreign Tool (1991). The Gorbachev era is covered by L.
Bittman, The New Image Makers: Soviet Propaganda and Disinformation
Today (1988). The reference in the text to the early 1960s work of Whitton
and Larson is Propaganda: Towards Disarmament in the War of Words
(1964). A new study of international radio is P.C. Wasburn, Broadcasting
Propaganda: International Radio Broadcasting and the Construction of
Political Reality (1992) which complements K.R.M. Short (ed.), Broadcasting
over the Iron Curtain (1986) and Laurien Alexandre, The Voice of
America: From Detente to the Reagan Doctrine (1988).


Equally variable in quality are works by media studies scholars who
have yet to embrace the notion of propaganda as a central concern. Most
who have tend to rely on the works of Noam Chomsky but such works as
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988,
with Edward Herman), Beyond Hypocrisy: Decoding the News in an Age
of Propaganda (1992, also with Herman), Deterring Democracy (1991)
and Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies (1989)
need to be read with caution. A short lesson on cock-ups in history rather
than conspiracies needs to be issued with these as a health warning to
students, especially those who believed that Oliver Stone’s film J.F.K. was
historically accurate. That said, they do stimulate the forewarned and
they do provide compelling evidence of the mainstream American media’s
inability to accommodate opposing or dissenting viewpoints. Inside
explanations of how the media actually work tend to come from practitioners
from within the system, especially Mort Rosenblum’s Who Stole
the News? Why We Can’t Keep Up With What Happens in the World
(1993), Peter Arnett’s Live from the Battlefield (1994), and Robert Weiner,
Live from Baghdad: Gathering News at Ground Zero (1992). For a
British perspective on reporting in the Gulf War, see John Simpson, From
the House of War (1991), Patrick Bishop, Famous Victory (1992), Ben
Brown and David Shukman, All Necessary Means (1991) and Alex Thomson,
Smokescreen: The Media, The Censors, The Gulf (1992).


Since the last edition of this book, several important works have
appeared. These include Susan Carruthers’ The Media at War (2000), Nancy
Snow’s Propaganda Inc: Selling America’s Culture to the World (2nd
edition, 2002), Alvin Snyder’s Warriors of Disinformation: American
Propaganda, Soviet Lies and the Winning of the Cold War (1997) and
Walter Hixson’s Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture and the Cold
War (1997). Historians continue to produce excellent works, such as
Nicholas Reeves’ The Power of Film Propaganda: Myth or Reality (2000)
and James Chapman’s The British at War, Cinema, State and Propaganda
1939-45 (2000). But now that the internet is more widely available, bibliographical
searches have become simple. There are also numerous websites
that are becoming valuable resources, many of which can be accessed via
my own at”

source: Philip M. Taylor, Munitions of the Mind, 2003 [1990], pp. 325-331

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