Edward Bernays Lives On Today

8 Oct

Edward Bernays, known as “The Father of Public Relations” was the Vienna born nephew of Sigmund Freud. He perfected The Psychology of Authority by manipulating the leaders of organizations and governments “to influence the group which they sway“.


His work is attributed to the success of :

  1. Promoting the idea that America’s war efforts (WW I) were
    Making the World “Safe for Democracy”
  2. Developing the market for cigarettes to women though the use of the “Torches of Freedom” campaign.
  3. Providing tools for the German propaganda programs of WWII through his books, used by Joseph Goebbels : “Crystallizing Public Opinion” (1923) and
    “Propaganda” (1928)
  4. Overthrow of the Guatemalan government in 1954 by framing Jacobo Arbenz as a communist who threatened the security of the Western Hemisphere.

Even though his influences can be seen today in advertising on television, it is interesting that in his later years, he was a public opponent of smoking, and campaigned to require licensing of public relations practitioners.

Edward Bernays died March 9th, 1995 at the age of 103.

Educational videos on Edward Bernays :

The Century of the Self (Pulled from YouTube recently…)

        Introduction to “The Century of the Self” on YouTube

        Link to the full versions on Vimeo (3.45 hours long)

    “Edward Bernays and the Art of Public Manipulation” (8.5 minutes long, available on YouTube)

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