Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq

Paperback | March 9, 2011

bySusan A. Brewer

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On the evening of September 11, 2002, with the Statue of Liberty shimmering in the background, television cameras captured President George W. Bush as he advocated the charge for war against Iraq. This carefully staged performance, writes Susan Brewer, was the culmination of a long traditionof sophisticated wartime propaganda in America. In Why America Fights, Brewer offers a fascinating history of how successive presidents have conducted what Donald Rumsfeld calls "perception management," from McKinley's war in the Philippines to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her intriguing account ranges from analyses of wartime messages todescriptions of the actual operations, from the dissemination of patriotic ads and posters to the management of newspaper, radio, and TV media. When Woodrow Wilson carried the nation into World War I, he created the Committee on Public Information, led by George Creel, who called his job "theworld's greatest adventure in advertising." In World War II, Roosevelt's Office of War Information avowed a "strategy of truth," though government propaganda still depicted Japanese soldiers as buck-toothed savages. After examining the ultimately failed struggle to cast the Vietnam War in afavorable light, Brewer shows how the Bush White House drew explicit lessons from that history as it engaged in an unprecedented effort to sell a preemptive war in Iraq. Yet the thrust of its message was not much different from McKinley's pronouncements about America's civilizing mission. Impressively researched and argued, filled with surprising details, Why America Fights shows how presidents have consistently drummed up support for foreign wars by appealing to what Americans want to believe about themselves.

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On the evening of September 11, 2002, with the Statue of Liberty shimmering in the background, television cameras captured President George W. Bush as he advocated the charge for war against Iraq. This carefully staged performance, writes Susan Brewer, was the culmination of a long traditionof sophisticated wartime propaganda in Americ...

Susan A. Brewer is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is the author of To Win the Peace: British Propaganda in the United States during World War II.

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Why America Fights : Patriotism And War Propaganda From The Philippines To Iraq
Why America Fights : Patriotism And War Propaganda From...

Kobo ebook|Dec 15 2009

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:March 9, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199753962

ISBN - 13:9780199753963

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The "Divine Mission": War in the Philippines2. Crusade for Democracy: Over There in the Great War3. The Good War: Fighting for a Better Life in World War II4. War in Korea: "The Front Line in the Struggle between Freedom and Tyranny"5. Why Vietnam: More Questions than Answers6. Operation Iraqi Freedom: War and InfogandaConclusionNotesBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Susan Brewer writes that U.S. war propaganda since the dawn of the twentieth century has been both necessary and misleading. Judiciously argued and well researched, this engaging narrative examines the claims that policymakers advanced in their speeches, newspapers, radio programs, and filmsto sell America's wars. Brewer's provocative book deserves a wide readership from Americans who so often wonder how their lofty goals in war can end in disillusionment." --Emily S. Rosenberg, author of A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory