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

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chapter 17

TWO MAGAZINES AND THE SELL MANIA

William Randolph Hearst doggedly opposed our entry into World War I. Under the slogans “America First” and “No Entangling Alliances” he defended the Germans, harangued the British and simultaneously protested his own superpatriotism by running red-white-and-blue headlines and stanzas of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on his front pages. According to the biographer W. A. Swanberg, Hearst was sincere in his belief that the United States should stay out of the war. But his tactics made him the most hated man in the United States. When we finally entered the war, not even Hearst’s endorsement of our action could efface his public pro-Germanism.

The bad odor of Hearst lingered after the war and spread to his ...

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