History Reviewer

Grant, Mariel Propaganda and the Role of the State in Inter-War Britain Oxford: Clarendon, 1994

This work is converted from Grant’s PhD thesis, and is obviously largely concerned with the inter-war propaganda, although the starting point taken was the initial ‘failure’ of the Ministry of Information at the beginning of the war. She feels that most other works have concentrated too much upon the negativity which surrounded propaganda after its use in the First World War, and upon staffing problems, with little or no consideration of peacetime propaganda which affected wartime propaganda.

The work considers inter-war developments, such as the development of publicity bureaux in many government departments, which caused problems in the formation of the Ministry of Information as they did not want to give up their independence to a centralised publicity bureau in the war. By 1937, there were seventeen publicity departments, which shows a rise in the acceptance of the idea of publicity as “legitimate function” of government departments, even if it was not fully accepted by the Second World War.

She considers propaganda developments in other countries, and debates about propaganda in the period in order to understand how, why and to what degree propaganda became an acceptable activity of government.

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By Second World War Posters

Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.

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