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Says Amazon, "As 'spin' assumes an omnipresent role in contemporary discourse, chasing out frank or direct speech with buzzwords and carefully weighted terminology, the time is ripe for a study of the industry that started it all. Stuart Ewen has written an exhaustive study of public relations that traces the evolution of PR throughout the 20th century, from the history of early advertising to its role in politics and corporate communications."

Adds Kirkus Review, "Drawing on seldom-seen corporate archives from such giants as AT&T and Standard Oil, he paints an alarming picture of corporate America eagerly trying to mold our perceptions to serve their purposes. Ewen believes these subtle manipulations are a terrible threat to democracy, but he tends to overstate his case, ignoring the numerous PR disasters that show the real limits of coercion."