"THE FATHER OF PUBLIC RELATIONS": RARE FIRST EDITION OF PROPAGANDA, 1928, SIGNED BY EDWARD BERNAYS
BERNAYS, Edward L. Propaganda. New York: Horace Liveright, 1928. Octavo, original gilt-lettered navy cloth. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $11,500.
First edition of Bernays' Propaganda, signed by him, the controversial work n which he boldly proclaims the "conscious and intelligent manipulation… of the masses is an important element in democratic society," pivotal in developing "his lifelong dictum that everything is a matter of public relations, whether the individual knows it or not” (Manning, 24-5), in original gilt-stamped cloth.
"Edward Bernays almost single-handedly fashioned the craft that has come to be called public relations… the man who fathered the science of spin." Just as his uncle, Sigmund Freud, is known as the Father of Psychoanalysis, "so Bernays became known around the world as the Father of Public Relations" (Tye, Father of Spin, viii-ix). After WWI Bernays, who worked on Creel's Committee on War Information in 1918, recognized "the increasing professionalization of public relations required that this emerging industry clearly differentiate itself from the discredited propaganda techniques associated with the war effort" (Heath, Encyclopedia of Public Relations, 698). Bernays "distinguished himself from competitors by claiming that public relations was an 'applied social science' and… helped establish respect for the emerging field of public relations by teaching the first college course in the field at New York University in 1923" (ANB).
In Propaganda, his authoritative sequel to Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923), Bernays boldly proclaims: "the conscious and intelligent manipulation… of the masses is an important element in democratic society." He "was not afraid to defend his passion for propaganda… he didn't mind being called a manipulator, either, for that was precisely what he envisioned his public relations counsel doing—blending the private interests of his clients with the public interests of society" (Tye, 97). "Universally considered one of the major figures in the development of public relations… he helped focus attention on how meaningful public relationships might be collectively managed ('engineering of consent') and he firmly believed that 'you have to know your public and figure out how to make it respond.' Bernays properly measured his target audience then sought creative ways to make them respond to his lifelong dictum that everything is a matter of public relations, whether the individual knows it or not" (Manning, Historical Dictionary, 24-5). Without rarely found dust jacket.
Text very fresh, tiny abrasion to rear board, faintest soiling to cloth. A handsome about-fine signed copy.