A Matter of Persuasion: The American Government's Use of Psychological Warfare During World War II
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History and Historic Preservation
Citation of Original Publication
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The concept for this paper originated from my work with the diary of American World War II soldier Vernon Goetz. I have been working with the diary and its artifacts in Goucher’s Special Collections since the fall of 2013 with Professor Tina Sheller. In Professor Sheller’s Historic Preservation 311 course entitled “Public History: Theory and Practice” we focused on the documents that were found inside of the diary. I was assigned three leaflets from the diary to use as a basis for my research into the United States government’s use of psychological warfare during World War II. As I began my research, I became fascinated with the different messages that were used to influence the attitudes and actions of Americans and Germans and with the techniques used to completely surround both groups with these messages. Throughout this paper I explored the origins and methods of the United States government’s propaganda campaigns that were used to gain support from Americans and weaken German forces.