Manufacturing Consent

The Political Economy of the Mass Media

Paperback, 412 pages

English language

Published Jan. 1, 1988 by Pantheon Books.

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5 stars (1 review)

In this work, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order. Based on a series of case studies—including the media’s dichotomous treatment of “worthy” versus “unworthy” victims, “legitimizing” and “meaningless” Third World elections, and devastating critiques of media coverage of the U.S. wars against Indochina—Herman and Chomsky draw on decades of criticism and research to propose a Propaganda Model to explain the media’s behavior and performance. Their new introduction updates the Propaganda Model and the earlier case studies, and it discusses several other applications.

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Review of 'Manufacturing Consent' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Despite giving this book 5 stars, I have some criticisms. To its credit, this book is pretty damning with its rebuke of U.S. mainstream media propaganda, and provides exhaustive case studies that back its claims. I do however think some arguments could have been even stronger.

1. The authors (Herman and Chomsky) cite reporting that they themselves don't scrutinize. Namely, reporting from Amnesty International. They do the very thing with Amnesty International that they are accusing the mainstream media of doing with U.S. Government propaganda. They report it without analysis, as if it's fact. I am not claiming that Amnesty International is a bad source. Quite the contrary. I greatly admire the organization (I'd even love to work for them). But the authors should go through the same effort of proving why Amnesty International is providing trustworthy information each time they cite them, just as they did with proving why …


  • United States
  • World politics
  • Mass media -- Political aspects
  • Mass media -- Objectivity
  • Mass media and propaganda
  • Public opinion
  • Mass media -- Ownership
  • Mass media