Read Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann Online


2012 Reprint of 1922 Edition Public Opinion is a critical assessment of functional democratic government, especially the irrational, and often self serving, social perceptions that influence individual behavior, and prevent optimal societal cohesion The descriptions of the cognitive limitations people face in comprehending their socio political and cultural environments, proposes that people must inevitably apply an evolving catalogue of general stereotypes to a complex reality, rendered Public Opinion a seminal text in the fields of media studies, political science, and social psychology Public Opinion proposes that the increased power of propaganda, and the specialized knowledge required for effective political decisions, have rendered impossible the traditional notion of democracy Moreover, the work introduced the phrase the manufacture of consent, which Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman used as the title of their book Manufacturing Consent The Political Economy of the Mass Media....

Title : Public Opinion
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1614272301
ISBN13 : 978-1614272304
Format Type : EPub
Language : Englisch
Publisher : Martino Fine Books 1 Januar 2012
Number of Pages : 286 Seiten
File Size : 965 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Public Opinion Reviews

  • The One Who Talks
    2019-04-16 14:11

    The only negative side of this book is that it is too old and i can not really relate to events, that Walter Lippmann discusses and analyses. The rest of it is perfect. Majority of our society have 0 clue about the things that Lippmann expresses even tho it was written almost 100 years ago."... but because thought is the function of an organism, and a mass is not an organism."

  • W Pfluger
    2019-04-07 12:15

    wir meinen nur, daß wir so viel weiter sind,aber der wissenschaftliche Seher ist uns oft um Jahrzehnte voraus...wir versuchen Schritt zu halten, aufzuholen...wir benötigen viel Zeit...

  • Charles D. Hayes
    2019-04-10 13:05

    The measure of a great book is how well it stands the test of time. "Public Opinion" meets and exceeds that standard. It should be read by everyone who cares about the idea of American democracy. Walter Lippmann's insights will still be valuable in 2022. Highly recommnded.

  • Prof. R. Paris
    2019-04-03 07:58

    In spite of its fairly advanced age (over 75), this remains a highly readable book. Its pages on stereotypes are more valid than ever. And the author could write an excellent English. Knowledgeable, informative and urbane. Highly recommended.

  • Clay Garner
    2019-04-13 14:24

    Written in 1921 following the disillusionment of WW1, this work explains how popular 'democratic' nations function. That is - not how they are supposed to function - according to ideal wish, but how it did function in the war. Lippmann was there and changed the national will. How? Why?''For the most part we do not first see, and then define, we define first and then see. In the great blooming, buzzing confusion of the outer world we pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture.'' (855)This is a key theme. What is seen must be given. Facts are never found, they are arranged. Presents Aristotle's defense of slavery as example-''Aristotle, therefore, excluded entirely that destructive doubt. Those who are slaves are intended to be slaves. Each slave holder was to look upon his chattels as natural slaves. When his eye had been trained to see them that way, he was to note as confirmation of their servile character the fact that they performed servile work, that they were competent to do servile work, and that they had the muscles to do servile work.''The slave owner saw the ''fact'' of the person as a ''natural'' slave. His perception does not allow any other ''fact'' into his mind.''This is the perfect stereotype. Its hallmark is that it precedes the use of reason; is a form of perception, imposes a certain character on the data of our senses before the data reach the intelligence.'' (1004)Lippmann provides an ''stereotype'' (worship of progress) that drives American society . . .''"It is not easy," he writes, "for a new idea of the speculative order to penetrate and inform the general consciousness of a community until it has assumed some external and concrete embodiment, or is recommended by some striking material evidence. In the case of Progress both these conditions were fulfilled (in England) in the period 1820-1850."''The most striking evidence was furnished by the mechanical revolution. "Men who were born at the beginning of the century had seen, before they had passed the age of thirty, the rapid development of steam navigation, the illumination of towns and houses by gas, the opening of the first railway." In the consciousness of the average householder miracles like these formed the pattern of his belief in the perfectibility of the human race.''These 'miracles' were proof that the 'god of progress' is alive and protecting his worshippers. What else did this 'religion' teach? -''This pattern, taken up by others, reinforced by dazzling inventions, imposed an optimistic turn upon the theory of evolution. That theory, of course, is, as Professor Bury says, neutral between pessimism and optimism. But it promised continual change, and the changes visible in the world marked such extraordinary conquests of nature, that the popular mind made a blend of the two. Evolution first in Darwin himself, and then more elaborately in Herbert Spencer, was a "progress towards perfection."''The stereotype represented by such words as "progress" and "perfection" was composed fundamentally of mechanical inventions. And mechanical it has remained, on the whole, to this day.''Mechanical progress does not produce mental, emotional, spiritual, political or any other type of progress. Human life is not 'mechanical'. The stereotype is delusional.PART I: INTRODUCTIONChapter I: The World Outside and the Pictures in Our HeadsPART II: APPROACHES TO THE WORLD OUTSIDEChapter II: Censorship and PrivacyChapter III: Contact and OpportunityChapter IV: Time and AttentionChapter V: Speed, Words, and ClearnessPART III: STEREOTYPESChapter VI: StereotypesChapter VII: Stereotypes as DefenseChapter VIII: Blind Spots and Their ValueChapter IX: Codes and Their EnemiesChapter X: The Detection of StereotypesPART IV: INTERESTSChapter XI: The Enlisting of InterestChapter XII: Self-Interest ReconsideredPART V: THE MAKING OF A COMMON WILLChapter XIII: The Transfer of InterestChapter XIV: Yes or NoChapter XV: Leaders and the Rank and FilePART VI: THE IMAGE OF DEMOCRACYChapter XVI: The Self-Centered ManChapter XVII: The Self-Contained CommunityChapter XVIII: The Role of Force, Patronage and PrivilegeChapter XIX: The Old Image in a New Form: Guild SocialismChapter XX: A New ImagePART VII: NEWSPAPERSChapter XXI: The Buying PublicChapter XXII: The Constant ReaderChapter XXIII: The Nature of NewsChapter XXIV: News, Truth, and a ConclusionPART VIII: ORGANIZED INTELLIGENCEChapter XXV: The Entering WedgeChapter XXVI: Intelligence WorkChapter XXVII: The Appeal to the PublicChapter XXVIII: The Appeal to ReasonFrom the Introduction -''And so in the chapters which follow we shall inquire first into some of the reasons why the picture inside so often misleads men in their dealings with the world outside. Under this heading we shall consider first the chief factors which limit their access to the facts.''Public opinion of the world is wrong, distorted. Why?''They are the artificial censorships, the limitations of social contact, the comparatively meager time available in each day for paying attention to public affairs, the distortion arising because events have to be compressed into very short messages, the difficulty of making a small vocabulary express a complicated world, and finally the fear of facing those facts which would seem to threaten the established routine of men's lives.''''From this it proceeds to examine how in the individual person the limited messages from outside, formed into a pattern of stereotypes, are identified with his own interests as he feels and conceives them.'' ''In the succeeding sections it examines how opinions are crystallized into what is called Public Opinion, how a National Will, a Group Mind, a Social Purpose, or whatever you choose to call it, is formed.''''There follows an analysis of the traditional democratic theory of public opinion. The substance of the argument is that democracy in its original form never seriously faced the problem which arises because the pictures inside people's heads do not automatically correspond with the world outside.''''My conclusion is that they ignore the difficulties, as completely as did the original democrats, because they, too, assume, and in a much more complicated civilization, that somehow mysteriously there exists in the hearts of men a knowledge of the world beyond their reach.''''I argue that representative government, either in what is ordinarily called politics, or in industry, cannot be worked successfully, no matter what the basis of election, unless there is an independent, expert organization for making the unseen facts intelligible to those who have to make the decisions.''This 'independent, expert organization' was created by Wilson to get populace to support the war. It worked. Lippmann was part of this. This work is the result.Lippmann concludes with this somber judgement -''Until reason is subtle and particular, the immediate struggle of politics will continue to require an amount of native wit, force, and unprovable faith, that reason can neither provide nor control, because the facts of life are too undifferentiated for its powers of understanding.''This is a sad loss of faith in 'reason' as cure. The enlightenment has failed with WW1. Lippmann does not imagine the horror to soon follow.''And yet, even when there is this will to let the future count, we find again and again that we do not know for certain how to act according to the dictates of reason. The number of human problems on which reason is prepared to dictate is small.''Lippmann now looks to something else beyond 'reason'. What? He doesn't know.Pascal wrote (four hundred years ago) in the dawn of the worship of 'reason' -''The last proceeding of reason is to recognize that there is an infinity of things which are beyond it. It is but feeble if it does not see so far as to know this. But if natural things are beyond it, what will be said of supernatural?''

  • Amazon buyer
    2019-04-20 13:22

    Buy ANY OTHER printing of this book. "Public Opinion" is an expired copywrite / public domain text, so someone published this through a self-publish service called "Createspace" (by Amazon). SHAME on amazon for producing such terrible quality. Cover is cheap, low resolution, text is mismatched fonts, the contents page just lists "Chapter I, II, etc." without chapter titles. The original text is great but this edition is crap. Sending it back. Buy a better edition or read this book online through Project Gutenberg.

  • David
    2019-03-24 16:19

    It's 100 pages too long. I read more than half of it slowly, steadily, and absorbed some interesting insights from the mind of Mr. Lippmann. After about page 220 (out of 317) however, he begins droning on about... I really can't tell you because it seems to have nothing to do with the topic/title of the book. The first 2/3's of the book is accurate, meaning it speaks on Public Opinion: Lippmann talks about how difficult it is to form a central government that has a realistic view of all of it's cities, provinces, etc.. He also speaks on how many filters there are between the "informed citizen" and the actual event taking place, let's say, across the world. He references many books that carry interesting titles, but the author loses focus 2/3's of the way and it caused me to lose focus as well. I was urging myself to continue. One more page, one more page, one more page. Though I didn't complete the book, I am finished reading it. If you're curious, give it a go. But basic curiosity will not hold you up through the dense, wild, intellectual forest that this book turns into towards the end. If you are a political scientist, a sociologist, or something of the like, you may make it through. thank you

  • Aaron Delwiche
    2019-04-08 11:59

    The philosopher John Dewey once referred to this book as "perhaps the most effective indictment of democracy as currently conceived ever penned." Like Dewey, I believe that imperfect democracy is preferable to rule by a technocratic elite. Nevertheless, Lippmann makes a powerful case for his position. This book does what works of political philosophy are supposed to do: it challenges and upsets the reader while refusing to offer any easy answers.

  • M. Baldanza
    2019-03-29 10:58

    We find some interesting discussion on the social state of the early 20th Century, but biased by his secular and humanistic view, the author describes his completely distorted view of mankind. He spouses education as the solution for the human plight, basically what was defended by his contemporary John Dewey. Arrogant view of the activity of the news media personnel, pretty much of what we encounter today.