World War I and Propaganda

TitleWorld War I and Propaganda
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsPaddock, Troy R. E.
Number of Pages374

During the First World War reports from the front became crucial for incorporating atrocity stories into a narrative for propaganda. The Anglophone world is familiar with acts, both real and fabricated, of the barbaric German “Huns” on the Western Front. Less familiar to the same people are tales of atrocities, both real and exaggerated, by the Russian “Cossacks” on the Eastern Front. Stories of atrocities on both sides sparked immediate denials on the part of the accused and were the subject of intense scrutiny immediately after the war. The scholarly examination of the concept of “public opinion” in the 1920s coincided with reassessment of the content of propaganda with a focus on its veracity, or lack thereof. The techniques employed by various propagandists were also the subject of study on both sides immediately after the war. The scale and bloodiness of World War I led many historians and other intellectuals to conclude that propaganda was, unfortunately, extraordinarily effective. This volume will demonstrate the myriad of ways that propaganda was employed to serve the war effort. The Great War may have highlighted the role of propaganda and its connection to warfare; but this link existed long before both the First World War and the coining of the term ‘propaganda.’

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