Advertising in the Age of Persuasion documents and analyzes the implementation of the American strategy of consumerism during the 1940s and 1950s, and its ongoing ramifications.
Beginning with World War II, and girded by the Cold War, American advertisers, brand name corporations, and representatives of the federal government institutionalized a system of consumer capitalism which they called free enterprise.
In their system, government and business worked together to create consumer republics, democracies based on the mass consumption of brand name goods using advertising across all major media to sell products and distribute information.
Many of the free enterprise evangelists believed it represented the fulfillment of America's god-ordained mission.
They envisioned an American lead global consumer order supported by advertising based media where the brand took precedence over the corporation that owned it; and advertising, propaganda and public relations were considered the same thing.
To support this system, they created a network and process for disseminating persuasive information that survives into the 21st Century.