63rd out of 99 books — 3 voters
Psychological Warfare (WWII Era Reprint)
Psychological Warfare was first published in 1948, and it became the authoritative text on the subject for decades. Even today, it explains the basic principles of propaganda and psychological warfare (both white and black), from organization and planning to analysis and response. Examples are drawn from military history, with an emphasis on tactics by both the Allies and...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published October 15th 2010 by Coachwhip Publications
(first published 1948)
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Paul Linebarger, better known as the science-fiction writer Cordwainer Smith, was one of America's leading experts on psychological warfare. He played an important part in World War II, operating entirely behind the scenes but planning a substantial portion of the US's efforts in this sphere. He was involved in a large variety of concrete operations, and briefed senior military commanders up to the level of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was particularly active in South-East Asia, where his conne...more
Sep 15, 2013 BirdBrian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to BirdBrian by: Manny
This little book from 1948 was written by an officer who had a hand in creating propaganda in World War II. It's partly a manual for waging psychological warfare, partly anecdotes from Linebarger's work in the field, and partly musings on what makes effective or ineffective propaganda. In parts, it gets bogged down on the organizational challenges of distributing propaganda and keeping it up to date with changing conditions in war, but overall it is very readable.
What is it good for?
What is it good for?
A virtually taboo subject in a country that prides itself on freedoms of all sorts, yet one with which Americans would do well to better acquaint themselves. Linebarger traces the origins of PsyWar to Biblical times and relates its development through early history and right up to World War II. His insistence on the deep incompatibility of longstanding domestic propaganda and the rule of law in our Constitutional republic is one which will strike an eerie chord in the minds of readers. Read this...more
A great introduction to the subject, but a bit dated. The advent of new forms of warfare, like Cyberwarfare, are thus missing (the book is 1948), but this was a text for Army and advanced international studies students, so you know it's not b.s. Great for a first read on the topic.