Propaganda by Edward Bernays

Edward Bernays’ book “Propaganda” is a groundbreaking work that explores the manipulation of public opinion and the use of propaganda as a tool for shaping social behaviour. First published in 1928, Bernays’ insights and theories on the psychology of mass persuasion remain relevant in today’s modern age, where the dissemination of information and influence has become more prevalent than ever before.

You can buy the book Propaganda by Edward Bernays here

Bernays, who is often considered the father of modern public relations, was a pioneer in the field of propaganda, which he defined as “the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses”. He believed that propaganda could be used not only for commercial purposes but also as a means of social control and governance.

One of the key ideas Bernays puts forth in his book is the concept of the “engineering of consent”, which refers to the deliberate shaping of public opinion to achieve a desired outcome. Bernays argued that people’s actions and beliefs could be easily influenced through various techniques of persuasion, such as appealing to emotions, exploiting social norms, and using authoritative figures as endorsers. He highlighted how propaganda could be used to manufacture consent and create a false sense of consensus among the masses, leading them to adopt certain behaviours or beliefs without critical thinking.

Bernays also emphasized the role of the media in propagating propaganda. He argued that the media, far from being an objective purveyor of information, could be used as a powerful tool for shaping public opinion. Bernays believed that those who controlled the media could shape public discourse and control the narrative, thereby influencing people’s perceptions and behaviors. This idea is particularly relevant today with the proliferation of social media and the increasing concentration of media ownership, which have amplified the potential for propaganda and manipulation of public opinion.


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