Historical Society will host series on WWI propaganda
The Portage County Historical Society will host a series of presentations as part of the society’s remembrance of America’s entry into World War I – the Great War – in 1917, nearly 100 years ago.
The first in the series will be a program by Susan Brewer at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in the Pinery Room of the Portage County Public Library. Her presentation will be focused on war propaganda and its impact on the United States.
War propaganda has traditionally been presented as a clear story of good vs. evil. It may be, as in WWI, “civilization vs. barbarism,” “democracy vs. dictatorship” as it was in WWII or “freedom vs. communism” in the Cold War and Vietnam, but the message is generally the same.
Brewer will examine the motives behind the conflicts and demonstrate that the United States has maintained a longstanding tradition of developing sophisticated propaganda during wartime to garner public support.
Brewer is a retired history professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and specialized in American foreign relations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in arts at the Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., a master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, England, and her doctorate from the Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
She has authored two books, “Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq” and “To Win the Peace: British Propaganda in the United States during WWI.”
The Historical Society’s series will be free and open to the public.