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Propaganda & Persuasion

Propaganda & Persuasion

Seventh Edition

September 2018 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Reflecting the remarkable changes in the world of propaganda due to the increasing use of social media, this updated Seventh Edition provides a systematic introduction to the increasingly complex world of propaganda. Viewing propaganda as a form of communication, the authors help readers understand information and persuasion so they can understand the characteristics of propaganda and how it works as a communication process. Providing provocative case studies and fascinating examples of the use of propaganda from ancient times up through the present day, Propaganda and Persuasionprovides an original model that helps students analyze the instances of propaganda and persuasion they encounter in everyday life.

New to the Seventh Edition:

  • New coverage of social media as a disseminator of propaganda offers readers an up-to-date perspective.
  • The book’s four case studies have been updated and strengthened to demonstrate their relevance not only to past and contemporary culture, but also to the study of propaganda campaigns.
  • New coverage of how a propaganda case study can be structured to reveal the components of a campaignallows students to compare strengths and weaknesses across different types of campaigns and evaluate the relative success of various propaganda strategies.
  • Updated research on persuasion and expanded coverage of collective memory as it appears in new memorials and monuments enhances the presentation.
  • Current examples of propaganda, especially the ways it is disseminated via the Internet, deepen student understanding.
  • New illustrations and photos add a unique visual dimension that helps readers conceptualize methods of persuasion and propaganda.


Chapter 1. What Is Propaganda, and How Does It Differ From Persuasion?
Propaganda Defined

Jowett and O’Donnell’s Definition of Propaganda

Forms of Propaganda

Subpropaganda/Facilitative Communication

A Model of Propaganda

Propaganda and Persuasion

Rhetorical Background and the Ethics of Persuasion

Propaganda as a Form of Communication

The Demagogue/Propagandist

Overview of the Book

Chapter 2. Propaganda Through the Ages
Ancient Greece and Alexander the Great

Imperial Rome

Propaganda and Religion

The Rise of Christianity

The Crusades

The Reformation and Counter-Reformation

The Emergence of Propaganda

The American Revolution

The French Revolution and Napoleon

Propaganda in the 19th Century: The American Civil War

Chapter 3. Propaganda Institutionalized
The New Audience

The Emergence of Mass Society

The Emergence of the Propaganda Critique

The New Media

Advertising: The Ubiquitous Propaganda

Propaganda and the Internet: The Power of Rumor

Chapter 4. Propaganda and Persuasion Examined
The Modern Study of Propaganda and Persuasion

Research in Propaganda and Persuasion

The Influence of the Media

Cultural Studies

Collective Memory Studies


Chapter 5. Propaganda and Psychological Warfare
World War I and the Fear of Propaganda

The Interwar Years, 1920 to 1939

World War II

Post–World War II Conflicts

The 1991 Gulf War: Mobilization of World Public Opinion

A New World of Propaganda, 1960 to 2018

Public Diplomacy

Chapter 6. How to Analyze Propaganda
The Ideology and Purpose of the Propaganda Campaign

The Context in Which the Propaganda Occurs

Identification of the Propagandist

The Structure of the Propaganda Organization

The Target Audience

Media Utilization Techniques

Special Techniques to Maximize Effect

Audience Reaction to Various Techniques


Effects and Evaluation

Chapter 7. Propaganda in Action: Four Case Studies
Case Study 1: Women and War: Work, Housing, and Child Care

Case Study 2: Propaganda and Climate Change: The Heartland Institute

Case Study 3: Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Drugs

Case Study 4: Pundits for Hire: The Pentagon Propaganda Machine


Chapter 8. How Propaganda Works in Modern Society
A Model of the Process of Propaganda

The Process of Propaganda


Appendix. Cyber Propaganda

The Social Internet


How Stolen Data Feed the Propaganda Enterprise

The Transparency Agenda

“Fake News” and Politics

Cyberspace: An Echo Chamber for Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation?

Digital Propaganda and Information Access


Author Index
Subject Index
About the Authors

Garth S. Jowett

Garth S. Jowett is a professor of communications at the University of Houston. He obtained his PhD in history and communication from the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as the director for social research for the Canadian government's department of communication and has been a consultant to various international communication agencies. He has been widely published in the area of popular culture and the history of communication. His book, Film: The Democratic Art (1976), was a benchmark in film history. His other publications include, Movies as Mass Communication, Children and the Movies: Media Influence and the Payne Fund Studies... More About Author

Victoria J. O'Donnell

Victoria O’Donnell is Professor Emerita and former director of the University Honors Program and Professor of Communication at Montana State University–Bozeman. She also taught a seminar in television criticism for the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University. Previously she was the chair of the Department of Speech Communication at Oregon State University and chair of the Department of Communication and Public Address at the University of North Texas. In 1988 she taught for the American Institute of Foreign Studies at the University of London. She received her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University. She has published... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781506371344