The Art of Propaganda – Shaping Public Opinion and Putting Society at Risk

R350.00 Inc.VAT


In 1622, Pope Gregory XV established the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of Faith (Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide). Its task was to spread the word, to propagate the Christian faith throughout Europe and beyond.

Its mission was to re-establish the Roman Catholic doctrine wherever belief and faith in it had been eroded, especially by the protestant movement of the German teacher and monk, Martin Luther. The Latin word for propagation is propaganda, and the Pope Gregory XV Papal mission will subsequently be referred to as The Propaganda Over time, propaganda acquired widespread usage in reference to one of the oldest activities human societies have engaged in-the influencing and shaping of public opinion and government policy.

400 years after the establishment of Pope Gregory’s Sacred Congregation, propaganda has become a new and less benign activity. Its reputation is of a dark art that is dividing and destroying societies. In contemporary context, propaganda has re-emerged as a major tool of demagoguery and political manipulation. This is thanks in part to the development and evolution of the mass media, including the press and radio, film and television, and especially the internet and social media.

In the 21st Century, propaganda has taken on a more prominent and pervasive if malignant role in society. Its use is no longer restricted to a few individuals with specialist skills and access to the traditional media. With the new social media and vast improvement in the technology for manufacturing facts, fake news, conspiracy theories and disinformation campaigns have become more commonplace. It is now by far easier to manipulate information and influence public perception of reality than at any other time in human history. The result is a diminishment of the value of truth, a dangerous embrace of delusion and a fracturing of society.

Can the situation be reversed? We must be ready to unlearn what we have learnt in order to learn what we ought to learn. It starts by always looking for the other side of every story.

The Art of Propaganda is part history and part contemporary politics, it is part sociology, part communication and part psychology. It is both fascinating and insightful.

In stock

Weight 350 g



Deji Haastrup


Xarra Books



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