BOOK OF THE WEEK: 'Information War' takes its shots at Bush

This is the inevitable follow-up to Snow's 2002 Propaganda, Inc.: Selling America's Culture to the World.

This is the inevitable follow-up to Snow's 2002 Propaganda, Inc.: Selling America's Culture to the World.

There, she slams Bill Clinton for turning US public diplomacy into an instrument of corporate globalization. Though insightful, Propaganda was poorly timed; by 2002, 9/11 had spurred a sea change in public diplomacy concerns. Here, Snow catches up. A veteran of the defunct US Information Agency, Snow accuses President Bush of waging a propaganda war in place of actual diplomacy. She exposes the myth of the "independent media" and belittles the idea that former US diplomacy head and ad legend Charlotte Beers could better our standing in the world by selling "brand America." This isn't some level-headed assessment of administration policy. Snow's heroes include lefty icons Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, whom she praises glowingly. Still, her arguments are well-reasoned and persuasive. Until more people start asking the questions she does, we should be grateful to have her. Title Information War: American Propaganda, Free Speech, and Opinion Control since 9/11 Author Nancy Snow Publisher Seven Stories Press (December 2003), 208 pages Reviewed by Douglas Quenqua

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