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The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and The Birth of Public Relations
by Larry Tye
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805067892, Paperback)Biographer Larry Tye can't help but be entertained by his subject's professional antics. Edward L. Bernays (1892-1995), a pioneering practitioner of public relations, zestfully ballyhooed his clients, utilizing a shrewd blend of publicity stunts, careful cultivation of the press, and solicited endorsements from "experts." Yet journalist Tye is also aware of the moral ambiguities inherent in the career of a man who vigorously promoted cigarette smoking and whose work for the United Fruit Company played at least some role in the 1954 military overthrow of Guatemala's democratically elected government. This judicious book balances appreciation for Bernays' inventiveness with a sober understanding of its consequences, including the extent to which PR permeates contemporary American life. --Wendy Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:13 -0400)
The Father of Spin is the first full-length biography of the legendary Edward L. Bernays, who, beginning in the 1920s, was one of the first and most successful practitioners of the art of public relations. This book tells of Bernays's great campaigns, including:. His precedent-setting work for the American Tobacco Company, climaxed by a parade of cigarette-smoking debutantes down Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday that recast smoking as an act of liberation for women, helped convince a generation of women to light up, and made headlines from coast to coast. He transformed the color green into an American favorite to blend in with the green of the Lucky Strike package, and he convinced weight-conscious women that a cigarette was just the thing to substitute for a sweet. And he did it all without anyone knowing his client was behind it. How he and his client the United Fruit Company helped engineer the overthrow of the socialist regime in Guatemala in the 195Os.How he borrowed ideas from his uncle Sigmund Freud to push people to buy products they didn't need and to shape the way they perceived issues and the very way they believed. And what Bernays did for tobacco and fruit peddlers, he also did for politicians, including Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.
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