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Sheldon Rampton

Autor(a) de Toxic Sludge Is Good for You!

7 Works 1,322 Membros 10 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: History Commons

Obras de Sheldon Rampton


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Long Beach, California, USA
Princeton University (BA)
PR Watch



This book is so well written that despite what could be a boring topic, it kept my interest for three weeks and I looked forward to being able to read it almost every night. The authors draw on some real examples of overstepping and manipulation by the PR industry which doesn't seem very hard to find. The book was written in 1996 so the examples, while dated, continue to be very relevant, especially with the news we read about today - "fake news" is here. One may need to have been born before the early 1960s to fully appreciate the examples provided: the Iran/Contra scandal, a bit of Watergate, and many others. The book is very well-paced and the conclusion is particularly gratifying… (mais)
Kimberlyhi | outras 5 resenhas | Apr 15, 2023 |
The cover caught my eye as I'm sure it did many others and the title instantly describes in just a few words the reality of the world we live in today, bombarded by propaganda as we are. I thought it might be a little dated as it was written before the internet was impossible to escape, but I was pleasantly surprised by the significance of the story being told while pondering the acceleration of such practices as a result of internet dominion and mass/social media control over us. We live in a world where "war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength" (thank you Mr. Blair, aka Orwell), where information has become weaponized and the news is manufactured by public relations firms, for corporations and governments alike. This book lays out the beginnings and the history of a completely amoral and sometimes (more often than not?) sinister industry that influences the products we buy, the causes we support, the actions of the powers that (should not) be, and more. We are taken on a journey with the early PR/propaganda practitioners like Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays, the bogus campaign for support of the first Iraq war, a few environmental and occupational disasters, the spin that was put on those stories, as well as an ironically true story about a PR campaign to convince people that, wait for it... "toxic sludge is good for you!" Includes some interesting stories and forgotten history about PR campaigns for politicians and celebrities still in the news today, e.g. Clintons and Trumps. Despite the comedic cover and title, 'Toxic Sludge' is certainly a serious, well researched and documented, informative and interesting read, even from 1995. A book still relevant today as relentless PR and media explode. They "inform" our perceptions of the world in which we live as media continues to consolidate, sanitize information and limit its access.

One of the most revealing quotes from this book is found in the introduction by Mark Dowie:
"Academicians who study media now estimate that about 40% of all "news" flows virtually unedited from the public relations offices, prompting a prominent PR exec to boast that "the best PR ends up looking like news."

And that was in 1995! It's a brave new world, indeed.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of." Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928

Now onto 'Trust Us, We're Experts' by the same authors.
… (mais)
ThoughtCriminal13 | outras 5 resenhas | Jul 2, 2020 |
yamiyoghurt | outras 2 resenhas | Jan 29, 2018 |
Excellent book on the marketing/PR spin! I am currently fighting sewage sludge fertilizer in my area an this book was extremely helpful in our fight!Each chapter is abt a product or type of company and how they spin the "bad" to promote product and companies.
LauGal | outras 5 resenhas | Aug 16, 2016 |


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Associated Authors

Tom Tomorrow Cover artist, Cover illustration
Robert Newman Introduction
Mark Dowie Introduction
Dan Perkins Cover artist



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