Propaganda is a book by Edward Bernays who is also known as the "father of public relations". One of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Bernays had a distinct style of writing which many readers may find confusing. Many readers think that Bernays deliberately mixes up definitions so as to make them accept that propaganda is a better way of managing very large societies.
However, some people differ in opinion and believe that Bernays is very descriptive in his books and covers all the pros and cons without hiding any facts. This group of people compares Bernays' 'Propaganda' to the book 'Art of War' by Sun Tzu. According to them, it seems like Sun Tzu is trying to hide a lot of facts unlike Bernays who lays everything out in the open and explains everything in a very elaborate manner.
In the book 'Propaganda', Bernays tries to answer various questions related to philosophy and public opinion and tries to establish the fact that a society is governed or governed by the consent of those being governed, be it for the good or bad. He also tries to throw light upon the political structure in a dictatorship or a democracy, starting from the bottom or the lowest level and going all the way to the top through intermediate hierarchies, trying to explain what makes those forms of governance different from propaganda.
Bernays gives the example of the American masses and argues that they had every reasonable opportunity to learn from the events that took place in the 1990s but they did not and found war to be an acceptable solution. According to him, the public or a mob often makes such decisions emotionally rather than making it logically.
Bernays managers to establish the fact that propaganda is simply a tool for maintaining law and order. His book is very different from other books as it reveals all the techniques without any prejudice or hiding the truth. It shows a constant continuous dialect about what issues there are and how to proceed.
Propaganda the book has a philosophical angle to it, he tries to prove that those who participate in the process do so by their own choice and will.
Propaganda the book is probably more important in today's world: Middle eastern countries which dictators are having to stand down because of people powered revolutions, the sometimes psychopathic spin doctors of the western world, media manipulation and political double-speak than when the book was originally published.
Propaganda is an eye opening read for anyone trying to learn how the ruling elite of the world use power and propaganda to try and rule our society.