Book Review: Manufacturing Consent

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, published by Random House, 2002. Paperback, 480 pages. (Amazon)

A lucid analysis of the media's conformity with the agendas of those in power, this document provides three in-depth case studies to illustrate the media's propagandistic role. Professors Herman and Chomsky develop their Propaganda Model through extensive research of demonstration elections in Latin America, the plot to kill the Pope in 1981 and the Indochina wars in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In each case, the media played an important role in both filtering the news that reached the public and supporting the interests of the governments and corporations that enable the mass media to thrive. Neither esoteric nor dumbed-down, the scholarly text is surprisingly easy to read, regardless of the voluminous research and references. In the end the writing helps the book to succeed in influencing the reader to think differently about the media and its message.