Language In Uniform: A Reader on Propaganda .

Essay by bathtubgin11University, Bachelor's December 2005

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We are living in an age of propaganda. One cannot live a day of their lives without being exposed to some form of propaganda in some facet of the media. However, one must remember that propaganda isn't always a negative thing. As William Hummel states in The Analysis of Propaganda, "Propaganda is a word of evil connotation" (Hummel 1). It is our duty to denounce such a connotation in order to gain a proper understanding of propaganda and how to analyze it.

Language in Uniform offers several pieces of written propaganda, everything from Thoreau to Hitler. This idea emphasizes the fact that propaganda can be good or bad, harmful or helpful. "The appeal in propaganda is sometimes based on truth supported by strong emotional overtones and is, therefore, good propaganda; in other cases the appeal is based on distortion, half-truths, and absolute falsehoods and is, therefore, bad propaganda" (Ford viii).

The book is divided into four sections: the introduction, a chapter on political and economic discussion, a chapter on racial and religious considerations, and the last on the pursuit of educational goals. Each section of the book offers one or several pieces of propagandist writing. The book is set up similar to a textbook, with vocabulary studies, questions for discussion and writing assignments at the end of each piece. Even though I am not using it as a textbook, having the discussion questions available have helped me to consider the piece in several different contexts. I like the fact that the editor of the book offers pieces of both good and bad propaganda, giving the reader a broader understanding of what propaganda is. However, there is no added information or criticism beyond the introduction to help the reader properly analyze each of the pieces. I think it would be more...