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About the book
  • Published: 30 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448140978
  • Imprint: BBC Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 232

Selling Politics

Accompanies the TV series We Have Ways Of Making You Think


Formats & editions


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.

  • Pub date: 30 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448140978
  • Imprint: BBC Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 232

About the Author

Laurence Rees

Laurence Rees has won the British Book Award for History Book of the Year 2006 for his international bestseller Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. His career as a writer and filmmaker, focusing on the Nazis and World War II, stretches back nearly 20 years and includes the acclaimed television series Nazis: A Warning from History, War of the Century, Horror in the East and, most recently, Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. The body of work has won him a myriad of awards including a BAFTA. a Grierson Award and an international Documentary Award. He was educated at Solihull School and Oxford University and is Creative Director of BBC TV History programmes.

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