The Culture of Twentieth Century America

Sigmund Freud’s shadow hung over the Twentieth Century like a storm cloud (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ditzy heroines ca. 1920 were “hip to Freud”) , and it was Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays who invented the science of public relations which rules us today. During WWI he, along with Walter Lippmann and the Rockefeller press agent Ivy Lee (the two other founders) were in charge of America’s internal propaganda effort.

After the war Bernays worked to win the right to smoke cigarettes for the beaten-down and oppressed women of America, who had never been allowed to express themselves or have any fun,  while Ivy Lee worked for the Nazis.

Lippmann, the brains behind the New Republic tabloid, became an elder statesman of America’s Democratic Party and one of the founders of neoliberalism. After WWII, Ivy Lee’s nephew William Burroughs revolutionized American literature.

And that’s all you need to know right there. Various other Americans were once thought culturally important, but in the long haul none of them amounted to a hill of beans.

Lippmann and neoliberalism

Published in: on March 9, 2017 at 7:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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