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.
DAWN SPRING is an independent designer and scholar whose career has been dedicated to engaging popular audiences in history through digital history, digital humanities and entertainment, and utilizing new media and technology in teaching history. Her research on American advertisers began under the guidance of her advisor Dr. Wayne Durrill, Dr. Christopher Phillips and Dr. Geoffrey Plank. Spring teaches Native American and United States History online. She holds a PhD and MA in United States History from the University of Cincinnati and an MA in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research.