When the people of the United States were reluctant to enter World War I, maverick journalist George Creel created a committee at President Woodrow Wilson's request to sway the tide of public opinion. The Committee on Public Information monopolized every medium and avenue of communication with the goal of creating a nation of enthusiastic warriors ...
When the people of the United States were reluctant to enter World War I, maverick journalist George Creel created a committee at President Woodrow Wilson's request to sway the tide of public opinion. The Committee on Public Information monopolized every medium and avenue of communication with the goal of creating a nation of enthusiastic warriors for democracy. Forging a path that would later be studied and retread by such characters as Adolf Hitler, the Committee revolutionized the techniques of governmental persuasion, changing the course of history. "Selling the War" is the story of George Creel and the epoch-making agency he built and led. It will tell how he came to build the and how he ran it, using the emerging industries of mass advertising and public relations to convince isolationist Americans to go to war. It was a force whose effects were felt throughout the twentieth century and continue to be felt, perhaps even more strongly, today. In this compelling and original account, Alan Axelrod offers a fascinating portrait of America on the cusp of becoming a
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Publishers Weekly, 2008-12-15 In the early 20th century, propaganda had yet to acquire the sinister name it would gain by the Cold War. One of the most important episodes in understanding the relationship between propaganda and American culture is WWI. Many American were not yet ready to support the total war effort needed to defeat Germany, and President Wilson was worried about bringing the public along. Enter George Creel, a journalist and Democratic Party activist, who brought modern marketing to American politics. Appointed to the Committee on Public Information to control public opinion, Creel imbedded reporters in various governmental agencies, totally controlled information, planted stories and threatened outright censorship. Within months, Creel had an army of public speakers, hundreds of reporters and a propaganda machine unimagined in American history. While this is an important story involving a remarkable character, Axelrod's (Patton on Leadership) shoddy research undermines the book: the author has not consulted either archival material, the vast newspaper sources or government documents. Instead, he relies too heavily on Creel's writings. Nor does Axelrod place his subject in the larger sphere of either media or marketing history. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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