The Unseen Power: Public Relations, a History

By Scott M. Cutlip | Go to book overview

In his hundredth year he was working on another memoir, this one entitled The First Hundred Years.


NOTES ON SOURCES

This and the next chapter are based on Edward L. Bernays' voluminous writings, many public speeches, and several interviews and extensive correspondence with Mr. Bernays dating from the late 1950s. Our relationship began with an extensive 2-hour interview held on March 12, 1959, that was taken down in shorthand and then transcribed by his faithful secretary, "Krausie" An extensive correspondence with Bernays ensued into the early 1990s. We appeared on several conference programs together and had many long conversations. (The first interview and the correspondence is in the Scott M. Cutlip Papers, Mass Communications History Center, State Historical Society of Wisconsin.)

His autobiography, Biography of An Idea: Memoirs of Public Relations Counsel Edward L. Bernays ( Simon & Schuster, 1965) was a constant reference as we worked our way through these two chapters.

The amount of material written by and about Edward L. Bernays is, to put it mildly, voluminous, a result of his unceasing self-promotion and his longevity. Bernays, a prolific writer and speaker, left the most complete record of any of the pioneers. This is reflected in the two bibliographies of his written works, the most recent of which totals more than 700 pages. ( Public Relations, Edward L. Bernays and the American Scene, A Bibliography. comp. Keith A. Larson, F. W. Faxon, Westwood Massachusetts, 1979.) His many books and articles also provide meaningful insight into his philosophy and practice of public relations: The landmark book, Crystallizing Public Opinion, published by Boni and Liveright in 1923; Propaganda, published in 1928; The Engineering of Public Opinion, a series of essays to which he and his wife, Doris Fleischman, contributed and edited, University of Oklahoma Press, 1952, Speak Up for Democracy, Viking, 1945, and a monograph, Public Relations, Bellman Publishing Co., Boston, 1945.

These and other ideas are amplified and elaborated in many speeches and articles: "Uncle Sigi," Journal of History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Vol. XXXV, April 1980. (Outlines his relationship with his famous uncle and onetime client, Sigmund Freud.) "Counseling Not Communication, IPRA International Review, Journal of International Public Relations Association, September, 1977. "The Social Responsibility of Public Relations," talk before Independent Citizens Committee for the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, New York City, June 23, 1945. "The Engineering ofConsent,"

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