Britain's Secret Propaganda War

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9780750916684: Britain's Secret Propaganda War
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Contains details of the Foreign Office's Information Research Department (IRD), set up in 1948, including evidence of IRD's hidden hand in domestic politics, overthrowing left-wing governments and assisting Britain's entry into the Common Market. The authors discuss the impact of IRD both domestically and internationally.

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About the Author:

Paul Lashmar is a freelance journalist and producer. He was an award winning investigative reporter for the Observer from 1978-89 and from 1989-92 he worked for Granada TV's current affairs series World in Action. In 1986 he was awarded Reporter of the Year' in the

From Kirkus Reviews:

A formerly top-secret story of British efforts, supported by the CIA, to oppose totalitarianism during WWII and the creeping tide of communism afterwards. British journalist Lashmar wrote a 1978 article about the little-known ``Information Research Department'' (IRD), a seemingly innocuous unit of the British Foreign Office that was also the subject of co-author Olivers masters thesis. Joining forces to investigate the IRDs shadowy history, the authors begin with the brilliantly successful British propaganda campaign that spread Allied-favorable information and disinformation by radio transmitters, airborne leaflets, newspapers, and other media throughout Axis-occupied Europe and Asia. The IRD transformed the 1939 defeat and near-disaster at Dunkirk into perception of a ``victory'' and Britain's ``finest hour.'' It worked with resistance forces, playing a role in the 1942 assassination of SS hangman Reinhard Heydrich and in the 1943 Warsaw uprising. It aided the Malaysian and Burmese struggle against Japan. The IRD had a hefty assist from its American cousins, the authors find, claiming that the CIA funded anticommunist British politicians and trade unionists who helped to defeat leftist activists at home and abroad. British IRD agents helped to overthrow Sukarno's regime in Indonesia, an area rich in oil, rubber, and tin, that was threatened by a communist party reputed to have more than ten million members. As a result, the pro-Western Suharto came to power in 1966, and some 700,000 suspected communists were killed. The Marshall Plan, backed by a British and CIA partnership, countered relentless Soviet propaganda during the Cold War and met crises in Greece, Cyprus, Kenya, Chile, the Middle East, and Hungary. The IRD did such a good job feeding material to the media, say Lashmar and Oliver, that its often hard to tell who were journalists and who were propagandistsmany were both. Wars are not entirely won on battlefields, this fascinating account reminds us as it unearths the intrigues that often lurk beneath the surface narratives of history. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Paul Lashmar; James Oliver
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