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War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

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War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Norman Solomon has been exploring the hard questions for thirty years, asking in particular, why our media serves us so poorly in making sense of the choices we face. War Made Easy looks at the lies we tell ourselves as we annihilate life and liberty and call it freedom."

—Paul Rogat Loeb, editor of The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear

You've heard it all before, and you will no doubt hear it again. "Our leaders will do everything they can to avoid war." "They attacked us." "Our enemy is a modern-day Hitler." "This is all about human rights." And, at some point after these and other pronouncements had echoed through the media for weeks or months, American troops marched into Vietnam, Panama, or Iraq. Since the mid- 1960s, American presidents have developed, refined, and perfected powerful propaganda machines for leading the nation to war.

In War Made Easy, nationally syndicated columnist, media critic, and author Norman Solomon cuts through the dense web of spin to probe and scrutinize the key "perception management" techniques that have played huge roles in the promotion of American wars in recent decades.

This user-friendly guide to disinformation parses the preludes to American military adventures past and present. It reveals striking similarities in the efforts of various administrations to justify, and retain, public support for war. This proven formula includes everything from demonizing the enemy and proclaiming the selflessness of American motives to disseminating inaccurate "facts" and dispatching armies of well-briefed pundits to repeat them ceaselessly in the media and brand any opposition as unpatriotic and anti-American.

Even more distressing than this heavily orchestrated approach to beating the war drum, Solomon says, is its repeated success. In virtually every instance, a president who wanted to go to war was able to do so with minimal political opposition, substantial cooperation in the media, and the support of most of the public.

War Made Easy is important reading for every American. In addition to documenting a long series of deliberate misdeeds at the highest levels of power, it lays out important guidelines to help us distinguish elements in a propaganda campaign from actual news reporting. By following these simple suggestions, every citizen can become a savvy media critic and, perhaps, help the nation avoid the next costly and unnecessary war.

Synopsis:

"A sobering and essential book that Americans should read, share, and discuss."

—JOHN STAUBER, coauthor of Weapons of Mass Deception

You've heard it all before, and you will no doubt hear it again. "Our leaders will do everything they can to avoid war." "They attacked us." "Our enemy is a modern-day Hitler." "This is all about human rights." And, at some point after these and other pronouncements had echoed through the media for weeks or months, American troops marched into Vietnam, Panama, or Iraq.

In War Made Easy, Norman Solomon cuts through the dense web of spin to probe and scrutinize the key "perception management" techniques that have played huge roles in the promotion of American wars in recent decades. In addition to documenting a long series of deliberate misdeeds at the highest levels of power, it lays out important guidelines to help us distinguish elements in a propaganda campaign from actual news reporting. By following these simple suggestions, every citizen can become a savvy media critic and, perhaps, help the nation avoid the next costly and unnecessary war.

"An engaging book that helps explain how the myth-making machine works."

The Texas Observer

"If you want to help prevent another war (Iran? Syria?), read War Made Easy now. This is a stop-the-presses book filled with mind-blowing facts about Washington's warmongers who keep the Pentagon budget rising."

—JIM HIGHTOWER, author of Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush

"A definitive historical text . . . an indispensable record of the real relationships among government authorities and media outlets."

The Humanist

"Our media has a history of enabling Washington's foreign misadventures. Perhaps if enough people read—and act on—this book, it won't be so easy next time."

—MARK HERTSGAARD, author of On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency

Synopsis:

The author interrogates the history of propaganda in the U.S., revealing a long history of presidential administrations who "spin" war to make it more palatable for the majority of Americans.

About the Author

Media critic Solomon (Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You) looks at the pro-war propaganda generated by the U.S. government during military interventions, emphasizing the influence of the media upon public opinion. He begins in 1965, when President Johnson crafted public messages as he sent troops to the Dominican Republic. Solomon claims that LBJ's handling of this invasion established the prototype for a media agenda employed by subsequent presidents to create public approval for their actions. He finds several formulaic messages that help persuade the public to support military intervention. These include portraying America as a fair and noble superpower, whose honest leaders work hard to avoid war, and the enemy leader as an aggressive, Hitler-like violator of human rights who will do much harm unless the United States intervenes. Solomon's timely analysis, which continues through the current war in Iraq, provides the public, analysts, and journalists with useful tips on how to evaluate the prewar messages of any administration, current or historical. Of interest to both public and academic libraries.-Judy Solberg, George Washington Univ. Libs., Washington, DC (Library Journal, July 15, 2005)

"An engaging book that helps explain how the myth-making machine works." (The Texas Observer, July 8, 2005)

"Brutally persuasive...a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come." (Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2005)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Building Agendas for War.

1. America Is a Fair and Noble Superpower.

2. Our Leaders Will Do Everything They Can to Avoid War.

3. Our Leaders Would Never Tell Us Outright Lies.

4. This Guy Is a Modern-Day Hitler.

5. This Is about Human Rights.

6. This Is Not at All about Oil or Corporate Profits.

7. They Are the Aggressors, Not Us.

8. If This War Is Wrong, Congress Will Stop It.

9. If This War Is Wrong, the Media Will Tell Us.

10. Media Coverage Brings War Into Our Living Rooms.

11. Opposing the War Means Siding with the Enemy.

12. This Is a Necessary Battle in the War on Terrorism.

13. What the U.S. Government Needs Most Is Better PR.

14. The Pentagon Fights Wars as Humanely as Possible.

15. Our Soldiers Are Heroes, Theirs Are Inhuman.

16. America Needs the Resolve to Kick the "Vietnam Syndrome."

17. Withdrawal Would Cripple U.S. Credibility.

Afterword.

Notes.

Acknowledgments.

Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781118040324
Subtitle:
How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
Publisher:
Wiley
Author:
Solomon, Norman
Subject:
Political Science : Peace
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
War
Subject:
Press and politics
Subject:
United States Foreign relations.
Subject:
Press and politics -- United States.
Subject:
Journalism - General
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
History Special Topics
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20101209
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
320

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Journalism » Reference
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media

War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 320 pages John Wiley & Sons - English 9781118040324 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "A sobering and essential book that Americans should read, share, and discuss."

—JOHN STAUBER, coauthor of Weapons of Mass Deception

You've heard it all before, and you will no doubt hear it again. "Our leaders will do everything they can to avoid war." "They attacked us." "Our enemy is a modern-day Hitler." "This is all about human rights." And, at some point after these and other pronouncements had echoed through the media for weeks or months, American troops marched into Vietnam, Panama, or Iraq.

In War Made Easy, Norman Solomon cuts through the dense web of spin to probe and scrutinize the key "perception management" techniques that have played huge roles in the promotion of American wars in recent decades. In addition to documenting a long series of deliberate misdeeds at the highest levels of power, it lays out important guidelines to help us distinguish elements in a propaganda campaign from actual news reporting. By following these simple suggestions, every citizen can become a savvy media critic and, perhaps, help the nation avoid the next costly and unnecessary war.

"An engaging book that helps explain how the myth-making machine works."

The Texas Observer

"If you want to help prevent another war (Iran? Syria?), read War Made Easy now. This is a stop-the-presses book filled with mind-blowing facts about Washington's warmongers who keep the Pentagon budget rising."

—JIM HIGHTOWER, author of Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush

"A definitive historical text . . . an indispensable record of the real relationships among government authorities and media outlets."

The Humanist

"Our media has a history of enabling Washington's foreign misadventures. Perhaps if enough people read—and act on—this book, it won't be so easy next time."

—MARK HERTSGAARD, author of On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency

"Synopsis" by , The author interrogates the history of propaganda in the U.S., revealing a long history of presidential administrations who "spin" war to make it more palatable for the majority of Americans.
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