Little Red Books Take Manhattan

Thanks to collector Justin G. Schiller, many editions of The Quotations of Mao Zedong are now on display in NYC. Read his thoughts on The Little Red Book.


Weekend Heller: This Means War!

“War and Propaganda 14/18”, a new exhibition, provides insight into the broad spectrum of mass manipulation in everything from posters to children's toys carried out during the period in question.


Split Personality Fascism

This cover of Gioventu Fascista, the journal of Mussolini's Italian Fascist youth organization, was later known for his highly stylized, art deco depictions of the "new youth."

North Korea today.

Game of Flags: American Flag Propaganda

Poor Old Glory has been a staple of propaganda posters for as long as anyone (well anyone standing around me at the moment) can recall. American Flag propaganda is having its symbolic moment again, brought back as the object of hatred in anti-American propaganda in a certain small nation dictated by a certain 29...

What Is Propaganda – Part 2?

Back in the 1940s, Donald Duck, quoted in a GI instructional manual, declared “Propaganda” revolved around ideas of communications control. These notions were put forth by master media manipulator (the Karl Rove of his day) Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment: “I think of the press as a great keyboard...

If You Were a German Girl in 1939

If you were a German teenage girl in 1939, you would be a subscriber to Das Deutsche Mädel, the monthly journal of the “League of German Girls” (BDM or Bund Deutsche Mädel) under the auspices of the Hitler Youth (see more issues here). Three sections of the BDM accommodated girls from 10 to 21...

Teach Their Children Well

In 1937, the Italian dicatotor Benito Mussolini embarked upon a colonizing war that spread over North and East Africa. Italian forces reconquered Libya and Eritrea and occupied Somalia, subjecting the local populations to massacres and other atrocities. Neutralizing the indigenous people was the job of the army. But since Mussolini claimed to be a...

Brave New World Revisited Once More for Good Measure

Aldous Huxley’s 1958 Brave New World Revisited is arguably one of the most prescient cautionary books on the present and future of propaganda and manipulation—if also an unintended handbook for some on how to manipulate our minds. I wrote about and quoted from it over a year ago, here. But now that the campaign...

State of Deception

What is the role of the printed word and image in collectively inciting societies to brand certain members and groups as evil, and to convince the citizenry to condone—if not incite—murder? During a recent visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, I was reeducated in the power of branding—especially as...

What Is Propaganda?

Do you know the origins of propaganada? There was the propagation of the faith of the Catholic Church: The origin of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda has passed through two distinct periods: The first period is that of the cardinalitial commission de propaganda fide (before it had been constituted a definite pontifical department or...