How Propaganda Works by Jason Stanley

Reviewed by
April 2016, no. 380
Adrian Walsh reviews 'How Propaganda Works' by Jason Stanley

How Propaganda Works

by Jason Stanley

Princeton University Press (Footprint), $56.95 hb, 373 pp, 9780691164427

How Propaganda Works by Jason Stanley

Reviewed by
April 2016, no. 380

Jason Stanley argues in his new book that propaganda is more prevalent within liberal democracies – and is of far greater concern – than is typically assumed. Indeed, Stanley suggests that the very idea that propaganda only proliferates within authoritarian regimes, which have ministries set aside for its production, is a central tenet of the propaganda of the West. Stanley's aim in this book is to outline the distinctive features of propaganda within a liberal democracy (he is particularly focused on the United States). On his account, the 'flawed ideology' of vested and powerful interest groups undermines the genuinely valuable ideals at the heart of the democratic project; this is what he refers to as 'demagogic propaganda'. Although I am highly sceptical of the argumentative strategies Stanley employs, the book raises significant issues about the extent to which public debates in countries like the United States and Australia involve distorted conceptions of what democratic principles properly entail.

Adrian Walsh reviews 'How Propaganda Works' by Jason Stanley

How Propaganda Works

by Jason Stanley

Princeton University Press (Footprint), $56.95 hb, 373 pp, 9780691164427

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.