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This week we will be discussing Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann.

Lorraine Adams of the Washington Post had this to say about the book:

“I can’t tell you how deeply I love this book. Some people get excited by Sex and the City but I get excited by Public Opinion. I could read you chapters on end and say: ‘This is brilliant and true!’ It was written in 1922 and is an insider’s view of how news is made. That is, news is a made thing. News is not facts. News is what is easiest for a reporter to recognise, not necessarily most important for the public to know – a kidnapping, a bombing, a court filing, anything that pokes up from the irregular and massive tissue of reality and events. For example, you could say: ‘Today there is a British Airways strike.’ But underneath that is a morass of barely detectable instances and feelings, a cavalcade of greed and human longing and anger. News is good at recording the overt act everyone can see but it’s less equipped to determine the how and the why of the event. One example Lippman uses is the Russian Revolution. He was fascinated by what he saw in the newspapers and how there was no reporting of the Revolution’s successes, partly because of censorship, propaganda, and the difficulty of the Russian language, but ‘the hardest thing to report is chaos’. I find this so familiar from my own reporting.”

The book may be obtained from your local library, via interlibrary loan,  possibly as an audio or e-book via ListenUp Vermont or in New Hampshire,  New Hampshire Downloadable Books. Users need only get a barcode number from their local library to use the services.  Or you can obtain the book from your favorite local bookseller, or via www.bookfinder.com, the aggregator site for booksellers both large and small from all over the world, and for books both new and secondhand.

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