Books Dealing with the how and why of Mass Manipulation. The goal of the course is to help the student understand why propaganda is used, the meaning of propaganda as a tool of manipulation, while giving the student the ability to recognize and identify propaganda. Further the Student will be able to explain how is it that propaganda is different than truth in the way it presents itself.
Jacques Ellul — Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes
Edward Bernays — Propaganda
Gustav LeBon — The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind
These three main texts will tell you
1.) The pervasiveness of Propaganda and its how it presents itself in a seemingly harmless way
2.) The technical means by which Propaganda is accomplished
3.) How Propaganda is advantaged by dealing with Crowds
Before reading any of the main text spend the 4 hours necessary to view the “Century of the Self.” This provides a good overview of what propaganda is and how it has been used in history.
After viewing the documentary read the main texts.
As reading the texts ask be prepared to look for the answer to the following questions
a.) Where is propaganda to be found
b.) What is the relation of propaganda to truth
c.) How does propaganda build a tapestry of false reality wherein people find meaning and definition of life
d.) Why does mass propaganda become easier to accomplish then propaganda on a person by person basis
e.) The names of the men who have been masters of propaganda
f.) How does propaganda change during war
g.) How does the individual arm themselves to detect propaganda
h.) What is the relation between truth as narrative and propaganda
i.) What is the role of public institutions and propaganda
j.) What are the consequences to the individual who lives contrary to culturally accepted propaganda
k.) Can propaganda be used to advance Biblical Christianity
Daniel Boorstin — The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America
Neil Postman — Amusing Ourselves to Death
Neil Postman — Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
Neil Postman — The Disappearance of Childhood
Edith Efron — The News Twisters
Thomas Sowell — The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
Marshall McLuhan — The Medium is the Massage
Michael Medved — Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture And The War on Tradition
Philip Knightly — The First Casualty: From the Crimea to Vietnam: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth Maker
The Student will write 15 page book reviews on the three main texts as well as a 30 page paper identifying and documenting propaganda in modern culture.
The Student will make chapter notes at the end of each Chapter of the books in the supplemental and then summarize the thrust of each book in their supplemental reading.
In the Supplemental Reading the student will be careful to be aware of how propaganda is transmitted in media, technology, education and politics.