LSU Manship School Professor John Maxwell Hamilton Wins Goldsmith Book Prize for ‘Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda’

Book Cover, Manipulating the Masses

April 22, 2021

BATON ROUGE—LSU Professor of Journalism John Maxwell Hamilton’s latest book, “Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda,” is a 2021 Goldsmith Book Prize winner in the academic category.

Presented by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, this annual honor is awarded to the trade and academic book published in the United States in the past 24 months that best fulfills the objective of improving democratic governance through an examination of the intersection between the media, politics and public policy.

Published in October 2020 by LSU Press, “Manipulating the Masses” tells the story of the enduring threat to American democracy that arose out of World War I: the establishment of pervasive, systematic propaganda as an instrument of the state.

“It’s my hope that this book will spark debate on the limits that should be played on a president’s power to use taxpayers’ dollars to shape their views,” said Hamilton, a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a senior associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C.

This is Hamilton’s second Goldsmith Book Prize. In 2010, the founding dean of the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication won the Goldsmith Book Prize in the trade category for his book “Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting.”

The longtime journalist, author and public servant has had assignments in more than 50 countries and has written extensively on foreign correspondence. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs and The Nation, among other publications.

“This award is a testament to Dr. Hamilton’s trailblazing work in government affairs and journalism,” said Josh Grimm, interim dean of the LSU Manship School. “This latest book, like his others, is accessible, extensively researched and important." 

Winners of the 2021 Goldsmith Book Prizes were announced at the virtual Goldsmith Awards Ceremony on April 13.

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LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: Master of Mass Communication, Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs, Certificate of Strategic Communication and a dual MMC/Law degree. Its public relations students were recently ranked the #1 team in the nation, and its digital advertising and student media teams frequently earn national recognition.