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The Nervous Liberals : Propaganda Anxieties from World War I to the Cold War - Brett Gary

The Nervous Liberals

Propaganda Anxieties from World War I to the Cold War

Paperback

Published: 20th October 1999
For Ages: 22+ years old
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Today few political analysts use the term "propaganda." However, in the wake of World War I, fear of propaganda haunted the liberal conscience. Citizens and critics blamed the war on campaigns of mass manipulation engaged in by all belligerents. Beginning with these "propaganda anxieties," Brett Gary traces the history of American fears of and attempts to combat propaganda through World War II and up to the Cold War.

"The Nervous Liberals" explores how following World War I the social sciences -- especially political science and the new field of mass communications -- identified propaganda as the object of urgent "scientific" study. From there his narrative moves to the eve of WWII as mainstream journalists, clerics, and activists demanded greater government action against fascist propaganda, in response to which Congress and the Justice Department sought to create a prophylaxis against foreign or antidemocratic communications. Finally, Gary explores how free speech liberalism was further challenged by the national security culture, whose mobilization before World War II to fight the propaganda threat lead to much of the Cold War anxiety about propaganda.

Gary's account sheds considerable light not only on the history of propaganda, but also on the central dilemmas of liberalism in the first half of the century -- the delicate balance between protecting national security and protecting civil liberties, including freedom of speech; the tension between public-centered versus expert-centered theories of democracy; and the conflict between social reform and public opinion control as the legitimate aim of social knowledge.

"Well-researched and gracefully written, Brett Gary's book provides valuable intellectual context for understanding how so many critics of First World War oppression became tough government warriors against fascism and communism." -- "Canadian Journal of History" "Well-researched and gracefully written, Brett Gary's book provides valuable intellectual context for understanding how so many critics of First World War oppression became tough government warriors against fascism and communism." -- Canadian Journal of History "Well-researched and gracefully written, Brett Gary's book provides valuable intellectual context for understanding how so many critics of First World War oppression became tough government warriors against fascism and communism." -- "Canadian Journal of History"

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Dangerous Words and Images: Propaganda's Threat to Democracyp. 15
Harold D. Lasswell and the Scientific Study of Propagandap. 55
Mobilizing for the War on Words: The Rockefeller Foundation, Communication Scholars, and the Statep. 85
Mobilizing the Intellectual Arsenal of Democracy: Archibald MacLeish and the Library of Congressp. 131
The Justice Department and the Problem of Propagandap. 175
Justice at War: Silencing Foreign Agents and Native Fascistsp. 207
Epiloguep. 243
Notesp. 253
Selected Bibliographyp. 305
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231113656
ISBN-10: 023111365X
Series: Columbia Studies in Contemporary American History
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 332
Published: 20th October 1999
Publisher: COLUMBIA UNIV PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.42  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.48