The Great War of Words

How the U.S. and U.S.S.R. sell themselves to the world

In the Soviet Union, where ideas, like almost everything else, are controlled by the state, the word is propaganda. In the U.S., Government officials prefer to talk of "public diplomacy," a term less offensive to free-speech sensibilities. But however they describe it, both superpowers are engaged in an all-out war of words and images aimed at winning hearts and minds around the globe.

Propaganda--the methodical spreading of information to influence public | opinion--can take many forms, from a government-approved interview in Pravda to a carefully couched answer at a Washington press conference, from a story planted in a foreign newspaper to...

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