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PR!: A Social History Of Spin
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PR!: A Social History Of Spin

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  132 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The early years of the twentieth century were a difficult period for Big Business. Corporate monopolies, the brutal exploitation of labor, and unscrupulous business practices were the target of blistering attacks from a muckraking press and an increasingly resentful public. Corporate giants were no longer able to operate free from the scrutiny of the masses.“The crowd is n ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 23rd 1998 by Basic Books (first published November 1st 1996)
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Justin Evans
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history-etc
I've read a couple of books on early to mid twentieth century American history, and seen the fabulous 'Century of the Self.' So it's not like I'm all knowing on the subject of this book; despite that, I learned almost nothing from it. Ewen does a whole lot of summarising other people's work, and a bit of archive digging, but compared to Lears' 'Fables of Abundance,' or CoftheS, this is pretty rudimentary stuff.

It's not helped by Ewen's own massively incoherent nineties political doctrine, viz.,
Tim Penning
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: academic
An engaging history of PR that is relevant to today's professionals. It helps make sense of and put in context the strategies and tactics of PR today. A central tension in PR history is a view of what "the public" is, dating back to the 1920s when public opinion exploded--is the public a mass of unthinking folk who need to be led by (or manipulated with emotional appeal) by elites, or are they able and desiring to make informed and rational decisions? The answer affects not just PR but society a ...more
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A tad bit too far down the dry and academic side of the scale, but...

A fascinating look at the rise and domination of PR and "spin" throughout the 20th Century. Starting with the Committee for Public Information, a governmental agency charged with drumming up public support for World War I, Ewan examines the ebbs and flows of John Q. Citizen's relations with corporate America through the muckraking period of the early 1900’s to the World War efforts to the Great Depression and on into the 60’s a
Jan 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
This book is sort of uneven for me. It has some interesting tidbits about the history of PR, and the PR business, but there's also a lot that seems irrelevant. Sometimes it's irrelevant because, okay, you don't need to tell us all the details about a phone call you had; sometimes it's irrelevant because, while it's interesting from a (U.S.) history standpoint, it's not related to PR or spin. There are two-plus entire chapters about the 1920s/1930s/Depression/FDR that have pretty much *nothing* r ...more
john nielsen boyack
Dec 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
it's certainly exhaustive. but this is pretty money as far as gems are concerned:

"Reagan's appeal was rooted in his remarkable capacity to gain the confidence of ordinary folks. He saw himself as one of them. "Would you laugh," he once asked rhetorically, "if I told you that I think, maybe, they see themselves and that I'm one of them?"

And, this:

"The multiplication of the number of people who have received advanced education has not only created a vast pool of trained personnel and alert citizen
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Although the author repeats his opinions again and again in different chapters, the historical examples he raises are pretty interesting and provoking. Recommend to people who wanna major in Public Relations or Communication.
Emma Bell
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who cares
The key to understanding the U. S. propaganda machine
Jan 03, 2015 marked it as to-read
Recommended by Shahid Bolsen
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