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Crystallizing Public Opinion by Edward L. Bernays

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INTRODUCTION

I first learned of Edward Bernays in the late 1960s, while I was a graduate student in history beginning to investigate the social roots of American consumer culture. As I read through his writings, I started to grasp his largely unknown influence on the contours of contemporary life. While his life story stood, for the most part, in the shadows of American history, this was “the invisible wire puller” who had devised many of the powerful ways that the tools of mass persuasion would shape the terrain of American society from the early twentieth century onward.1

Beginning his career in the early 1900s, Bernays would soon become one of the most influential pioneers of American public relations, a person whose worldly activities, though ...

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