[lit-ideas] Re: Edward Bernays and Goebbels

  • From: "John McCreery" <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 11:12:28 +0900

You might want to have a look at SPIN: The history of PR by Steward Ewen, a
marvelous account of how ideas developed by social scientists were absorbed
and applied by the emerging PR industry.

On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 10:50 AM, Andy <mimi.erva@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I did a quick search for Ed Bernays Goebbels.  Here's a quotation from a
> short book review of "The Father of Spin:  Edward L. Bernays and The Birth
> of PR".  Below are excerpts:
> http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1999Q2/bernays.html
> "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and
> opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society,"
> Bernays argued. "Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society
> constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our
> country. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere
> of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we
> are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand
> the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull
> the wires which control the public mind."
> [...]
> "During Bernays' lifetime and since, propaganda has usually had dirty
> connotations, loaded and identified with the evils of Nazi PR genius Joseph
> Goebbels, or the oafish efforts of the Soviet Communists. In his memoirs,
> Bernays wrote that he was "shocked" to discover that Goebbels kept copies of
> Bernays' writings in his own personal library, and that his theories were
> therefore helping to "engineer" the rise of the Third Reich."

John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

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