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The Committee on Public Information and the Four Minute Men: How the United States Sold a European War to American People

Madison McTernan

Shortly after America’s entry into World War I, President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information to garner public support for the War. This committee was created not only to drum up support for the war, but to ease a public frustrated by an isolationist president’s entry into such a conflict. Notable reporter and writer George Creel served as its chairman, and together with countless others created a massive propaganda campaign. The Committee was incredibly successful in its mission of “selling the war.” This was largely due to the fact that Creel and his men revolutionized the way propaganda and news was distributed to the American people. This paper pulls from monographs and journal articles by World War I historians, as well as Creel’s personal writings to explain the various means of propagandizing.