The KC Salesman Who Readied America for War (America's First Censor: George Creel of Kansas City) - Timothy Westcott
Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 2:00 p.m.
As the one time head of President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information, George Creel later recalled in his memoir “how we advertised America” but more accurately it was how he sold World War I to a largely neutral populace. Wilson, whose 1916 reelection campaign proclaimed, “he kept us out of war,” abruptly switched gears, and the electorate needed to catch up quickly. A native Missourian and former Kansas City newspaperman, Creel imaginatively combined the new techniques of public relations and propaganda with extensive government censorship to shape public opinion and control the flow of war information. Historian Timothy Westcott traces the life and career of Creel, who created the template for an entire industry of Madison Avenue “Mad Men.”