Why America fights

patriotism and war propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq

Paperback, 352 pages

English language

Published March 8, 2011 by Oxford University Press.

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On the evening of September 11, 2002, with the Statue of Liberty shimmering in the background, television cameras captured President George W. Bush as he advocated the charge for war against Iraq. This carefully staged performance, writes Susan Brewer, was the culmination of a long tradition of sophisticated wartime propaganda in America. In Why America Fights, Brewer offers a fascinating history of how successive presidents have conducted what Donald Rumsfeld calls perception management, from McKinley's war in the Philippines to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her intriguing account ranges from analyses of wartime messages to descriptions of the actual operations, from the dissemination of patriotic ads and posters to the management of newspaper, radio, and TV media. When Woodrow Wilson carried the nation into World War I, he created the Committee on Public Information, led by George Creel, who called his job the world's greatest adventure in advertising. In World War II, …

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