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Selling the Great War

Alan Axelrod

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Selling the Great War is the story of maverick journalist George Creel and the epoch-making government agency he built and led using the emerging industries of mass advertising and public relations to convince isolationist America to join World War I. Authorized by President Woodrow Wilson and created and run by Creel, the Committee on Public Information had one goal: to monopolize every medium and and avenue of communication in order to forge a nation of warriors for democracy. Alan Axelrod offers a fascinating investigation of America on the cusp of becoming a world power and how its first and most extensive propaganda machine attained unprecedented results.  

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Praise for Selling the Great War

“To understand how George W. Bush rallied Americans behind his ill-advised war in Iraq, we need to see how, nearly 90 years before, George Creel pioneered the enterprise of wartime propagandist. To understand Creel, we need to read Alan Axelrod's incisive new biography, Selling the Great War.” – Larry Tye, author of The Father of Spin: Edward L Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations and Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend
 
"When once again Americans have been 'sold' an inessential war, Alan Axelrod brilliantly reminds us of the 'vast enterprise in salesmanship,' nearly a century ago, that changed overnight our officially neutral, outright-pacifist public into an “army” of patriots fighting to make the world 'safe for democracy.'  As Axelrod demonstrates in fascinating detail, the remarkable George Creel was responsible for this turnabout through his Committee on Public Information, which eschewed censorship but so thoroughly controlled war information that its work was to be admired by the likes of Hitler and Goebbels." --Walton Rawls, author of Wake Up! America:  World War I and the American Poster 
 
"Axelrod offers a comprehensive study  of George Creel and the Creel Committee.  By so doing he provides new and  valuable insight into the role of propaganda and opinion-shaping in American  politics.  This is a timely, important book." -- Christopher Sharrett, Professor of Communication, Seton Hall  University

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Alan Axelrod

  • Alan Axelrod is the author of numerous popular books on military history, general history, American history and historically rooted business and management books, including Bradley and Patton in The Great Generals Series, the BusinessWeek bestsellers Patton on Leadership and Elizabeth I, CEO, as well as a host of encyclopedias and other trade reference titles. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Alan Axelrod Anit Arliss
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    Selling the Great War

    Alan Axelrod

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