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Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy…
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Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988)

by Edward S. Herman, Noam Chomsky

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2,187164,365 (4.13)15
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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
If there's one book that changed my life it's this one. I read it many years ago when I was a student, probably shortly after it came out and it has helped ensure that I always look into things in depth and assume nothing. It should be compulsory reading for everybody. Bravo Chomsky. ( )
  SuziBaker | Nov 27, 2018 |
An absolutely brilliant analysis of the ways in which individuals and organizations of the media are influenced to shape the social agendas of knowledge and, therefore, belief. Contrary to the popular conception of members of the press as hard-bitten realists doggedly pursuing unpopular truths, Herman and Chomsky prove conclusively that the free-market economics model of media leads inevitably to normative and narrow reporting. Whether or not you've seen the eye-opening movie, buy this book, and you will be a far more knowledgeable person and much less prone to having your beliefs manipulated as easily as the press.
  Cultural_Attache | Aug 1, 2018 |
Hard to rate. The ideas were great but it was a real slog of a read, so I can't recommend it. Paragraphs like the following were not uncommon:
"Meanwhile, because of the power of establishment sources, the flak machines, and anti-Communist ideology, we would anticipate outcries that the worthy victims are being sorely neglected, that the unworthy are treated with excessive and uncritical generosity, that the media's liberal, adversarial (if not subversive) hostility to government explains our difficulties in mustering support for the latest national venture in counterrevolutionary intervention."

Yes, that was a paragraph, and it was from chapter 1, so it didn't exactly help my experience. I don't even think it's the best example of what bothered me about the writing. If it didn't bother you, you'll be fine. I have issues with any book where I have to reread sentences 3 times just to parse their meaning. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Didn't tell me anything about the general behavior of American news media that I didn't already know just from watching them myself and/or reading Greenwald's column, but I did learn a bunch of (horrible) stuff about our role in Vietnam and Cambodia. ( )
  jhudsui | Nov 3, 2014 |
One of the founding motives of the United States was that it didn't and doesn't care about the rights of brown or red people. The silly British tried to respect the treaties with the natives in contrast to the Americans' god-given right to Western expansion. The big fault of Chomsky's book is his idealism, the faulty assumption that Americans care what their Buffalo soldiers do in places far away. They don't.

Firstly, caring would demand some minimal knowledge about geography and history. Even after a decade of war, most Americans would probably not be able to correctly identify Afghanistan or Iraq on a world map. Neither could they point out Guatemala or Laos. That the New York Times doesn't cover or relegate events is to a large extent due to customer demand. Americans prefer cheap, salty, fat and saccharine fast food not ugly stories about massacres and bad deeds from far-away places. The dis-intermediation of the media industry has shown that "news" is a poor business, even a loss leader.

Given the cost of reporting and the low demand on the one hand and the corporate ownership of the US media on the other, it is hardly surprising that US news is vastly different from what is served in other advanced countries. Cat pictures attract much more views at much lower cost. While Chomsky's explanation is fine, it is overly complex.

For this anniversary edition, Chomsky and co. revisited whether their cases presented held up: Depressingly, they passed with flying colors. The reality uncovered was in most cases even more damning. More helpful, though, would have been a look at the media in other countries. Just like commercial TV stations in European countries survive and prosper with vastly fewer ads and interruptions, the US could have a much more healthy media structure. ( )
2 vote jcbrunner | Sep 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Chomsky, Noammain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375714499, Paperback)

An absolutely brilliant analysis of the ways in which individuals and organizations of the media are influenced to shape the social agendas of knowledge and, therefore, belief. Contrary to the popular conception of members of the press as hard-bitten realists doggedly pursuing unpopular truths, Herman and Chomsky prove conclusively that the free-market economics model of media leads inevitably to normative and narrow reporting. Whether or not you've seen the eye-opening movie, buy this book, and you will be a far more knowledgeable person and much less prone to having your beliefs manipulated as easily as the press.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:20 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Examines the political role played by the media in shaping events, assesses the relationship between the media and the corporations that control and finance them, and discusses the fine distinctions between news and propaganda.

» see all 3 descriptions

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