WHAT IS PROPAGANDA?
THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES
WASHINGTON 25, D. C., 4 July 1944
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
This pamphlet dives into the subject of propaganda, defining its various forms and its role in daily life, press, politics, war, and more.
Propaganda: Shaping Beliefs and Behavior:
- Purpose: Propaganda seeks to intentionally influence the thoughts, emotions, and actions of an audience by presenting biased or partial information.
- Techniques: Propaganda often employs manipulation tactics, such as fear mongering, emotional appeals, and repetition, to persuade individuals to adopt specific beliefs or behaviors.
- Impact on Thinking: Propaganda can shape public opinion, reinforce existing beliefs, and influence political, social, and cultural attitudes. It can also be used to promote harmful ideologies or suppress dissent.
Below are excerpts and the full PDF available to view and download.
DAILY QUACK - WELL, WHAT IS PROPAGANDA?
- Propaganda - Any kind of material designed to influence the thoughts or actions of the people to whom it is addressed.
- Propaganda does not necessarily mean harmful or wrong; it is a tool used to shape public opinion and behavior.
- Exploits newspapers, magazines, books, the radio, and other media to spread a specific agenda.
- Governments, businesses, and other groups use this method to achieve their goals.
- Aimed at promoting or discrediting political candidates or parties.
- Utilizes biased information, emotional appeals, and name-calling to manipulate public opinion.
- Used to boost morale and support for military actions.
- Typically demonizes the enemy, amplifies threats, and minimizes losses.
THE JAPS CALL IT "CO-PROSPERITY"
The Japs Call it 'Co-Prosperity':
- The Japanese claim their mission is to create a 'Co-Prosperity Sphere' in Asia, despite evidence of imperialist motives.
PLANTING SEEDS OF DISCONTENT
Planting Seeds of Discontent:
- Propaganda can create division and discontent within a population, leading to hostility and conflict.
PDF FILE - WHAT IS PROPAGANDA?
The content of this pamphlet has been prepared by the Historical Service Board of the American Historical Association.
Each pamphlet in the series has only one purpose: to provide factual information and balanced arguments as a basis for discussion of all sides of the question.
It is not to be inferred that the War Department endorses any one of the particular views presented.