Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The Great War - "The Four Minute Men"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Great War - "The Four Minute Men"

During the early years leading up to WWI (The Great War), President Wilson needed to combat the propaganda coming out of Germany. What was developed was an interesting facet in American History. "The Four Minute Men", a group of men assigned to the US Committee of Public Information, were given the task of directly combating German propaganda with American propaganda. Speeches were written, meetings were held, rallies were organized, and the American population was mobilized by these men. The nickname of this group was said to come from the time limit set on most of their speeches. In our reading packet, we were given an article containing suggestions to these "Four Minute Men" for speeches to be given to promote the purchasing of war bonds. Suggestions such as reinforcing patriotism, strengthening our alliances, giving liberty to the world, honesty, avoiding over-optimism, endurance, promoting war bonds, and reaching out to the listener soul and love of country. They were to tell of stories of survival and sacrifice, again reaching out to the listener's patriotism. Their ultimate goal was to promote the war and combat enemy propaganda. They played an integral part of the war effort.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A thoughtful post.

I am not sure that the CPI's domestic propaganda was really intended to counter German propaganda. Mostly the propaganda that the CPI created for the rest of the world was used to counter German propaganda. At home it was more a question of mobiization and the integration of immigrant cultures into a patriotic nationalism that would serve the war effort.

2/25/2007 10:30 PM  
Blogger S.Mendoza said...

I would have liked to see a quote from the reading, but overall good post.

3/02/2007 11:52 AM  

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