The study of propaganda’s uses in modern democracy highlights important theoretical questions about normative rhetorical practices. Is rhetoric ethically neutral? Is propaganda? How can facticity, accuracy, and truth be determined? Do any circumstances justify misrepresentation? Edited by Gae Lyn Henderson and M. J. Braun, Propaganda and Rhetoric in Democracy: History, Theory, Analysis advances our understanding of propaganda and rhetoric. Essays focus on historical figures—Edward Bernays, Jane Addams, Kenneth Burke, and Elizabeth Bowen—examining the development of the theory of propaganda during the rise of industrialism and the later changes of a mass-mediated society. Modeling a variety of approaches, case studies in the book consider contemporary propaganda and analyze the means and methods of propaganda production and distribution, including broadcast news, rumor production and globalized multimedia, political party manifestos, and university public relations.
Propaganda and Rhetoric in Democracy offers new perspectives on the history of propaganda, explores how it has evolved during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and advances a much more nuanced understanding of what it means to call discourse propaganda.