Book Review: Propaganda And Mass Persuasion – A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 To The Present


Zy Marquiez
December 13, 2016

Propaganda And Mass Persuasion – A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 To The Present by Nicholas J. Cull, David Culbert & David Welch is broad surveying of a large portion of the propaganda that has historically taken place the last five centuries or so.

For the record, the book has many other contributors than the ones listed above.  The ones listed are only three of the entire group.

In any case, the book is divided alphabetically, which certainly helps, and is footnoted to the hilt, which is greatly appreciated.

Showcased within the book are the smorgasbord of ways propaganda can be used.  Common methods such as television, radio, and media are delved into, while also cursory glances are given to posters, leaflets and other tools used historically.

A wide sprinkling of Individuals, methods, movements, ideologies, movies, countries and more are each given a decent gander within the confines of this piece.

Propaganda And Mass Persuasion exegetes the precise historical periods of some of the largest propaganda campaigns that have taken place.  From World War 1, to World War 2, Vietnam War, and even many other wars, the book delves into how propaganda played a role in assisting and/or countering an opposing side.  Along with this, the book even shows how mass persuasion has been viewed by the establishment, and how it has served a major purpose in pushing particular agendas.

Ultimately, steering vox populi is the main focus of any propagandist, and this book shows why.

In its totality, Propaganda And Mass Persuassion is quite didactic for a neophyte, given its expansive historical range.  That said, given the size of the book, it can only really home-in on certain historical applications with great precision.  Because of that ome areas were somewhat lacking however.

The data set addressed was rather scholarly, although admittedly from an establishment point of view.  Much deeper layers of this topic are only given mere glances, or simply glossed over in their entirety. Simply stated, the book is congealed – or so it feels – to cement official narratives.  Giving you enough scholarly data for it to be legitimate, but not following additional published documents/data sets that that would confect a much larger and complete picture.

It is up to the reader to take cognizance in the lacking breadth and scope of the book.

As a starting point, it’s certainly quite superficially comprehensive, and it certainly belongs in a researcher’s library.  However, the glaring omission of social engineering – which is propaganda’s ultimate goal – are to be looked at quite askance.   That subject alone could be written about at length, and isn’t even given a glance.

If you are a student of propaganda, mind control, social engineering and the like, and happen to get this book, just realize this isn’t the end-all-be-all of sourced material.  There are many books by many great people on Amazon, and countless documents published which go into farther depth than this book has.  Make sure to spend time and search for those in order widen your repertoire and be more able to keenly ascertain when such tools are being used against you, and your kith and kin.