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Selling War in a Media AgeThe Presidency and Public Opinion in the American Century$
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Kenneth Osgood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034669

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034669.001.0001

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War and the Health of the State

War and the Health of the State

The U.S. Government and the Communications Revolution during World War I

(p.48) 2 War and the Health of the State
Selling War in a Media Age
Andrew L. Johns, Kenneth Osgood
University Press of Florida

This chapter explores how Woodrow Wilson helped transform methods of governance and establish precedents for dealing with perceived national emergencies during the rest of the twentieth century and beyond. It considers how the Wilson administration created a new political art form—selling war through a combination of persuasion and coercion—to mobilize a hesitant American public in support of “the war to end all wars.” The chapter examines how this effort sparked a debate—which continues to the present day—regarding the relationship between the manipulation of public opinion and the health of the democracy. “Selling war”—through a combination of persuasion and coercion—became a new political art form during the wartime presidency of Woodrow Wilson.

Keywords:   Woodrow Wilson, wartime presidency, national emergencies, selling war, public opinion, democracy

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