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Oct 9, 2007

Conference on political propaganda, November 7, 2007 (The New York Public Library)

In his classic essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell described political speech as consisting “largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” Six decades later, the tactics of disinformation and manipulation diagnosed by Orwell persist on the political battlefield, along with new propaganda techniques made possible by advances in scientific knowledge and modern technology.

There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America invites historians, linguists, cognitive experts, journalists, government officials, and political consultants to assess the current state of public discourse — and journalism’s response to it — one year before a hotly contested presidential election. The panels explore the past, present, and future of deceptive political speech, and assess what can be done to bring more realism and honesty into the conduct of America’s public affairs.

What Orwell Didn’t Know; Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics, an anthology featuring twenty prominent writers and thinkers, will be released at the time of conference.


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