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Biography of an Idea: The Founding Principles of Public Relations by Edward L. Bernays

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chapter 10

MOVIES AND RALLIES FOR DEMOCRACY

When war was declared against Germany on April 6, 1917, like millions of other young Americans I was swept along by the martial spirit. I had a personal compulsion to lick the Kaiser.

President Wilson’s idealism deeply affected most of us. Young liberals saw in him the great human symbol of the American tradition. We joined his crusade, channeling our fear of war into emotions of aggression.

The Draft Act was passed, the War Industries Board was created, food and fuel controls were imposed on the nation, Liberty Bonds were floated and loans were made to the Allies, in rapid succession. I volunteered for the Army the day war was declared. Naïvely I thought enlisting would be the easiest thing in the ...

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