Selling Politics investigates the secret world of political consultants, the men who create an image of their clients for the public eye.
Author Laurence Rees argues that the roots of political propaganda lie in Nazi Germany with Hitler’s master of visual propaganda, Dr Josef Goebbels. Goebbels’ passion for cinema led him to discover the ‘Great Truth’, namely that in order for film propaganda to persuade it must entertain rather than inform. Over the past thirty years the use of film and television propaganda had flourished, particularly in the United States where a candidate’s ability to woo voters on the screen is fundamental to his success in a presidential election.
Rees shows how television manipulates its viewers into making judgements based purely on the visual image and explains why propaganda works best when it engages the emotions rather than the intellect. We see clearly how these insidious techniques have also played a key role in contemporary British politics as consultants have followed the example of their American counterparts.
Written in1992, a year that encompassed a general election in Britain and a presidential election in the United States, Selling Politics is a book for our times. It will fascinate readers who care about the practice of politics and the way democracy functions as the 21st century approaches.