Two new books on the history of public relations have been published recently, one from the UK and the other from the US.
Cambridge academic Scott Anthony has written a history of the influential public servant Stephen Tallents, a founder of the UK’s Institute of Public Relations in 1948. The book, Public Relations and the Making of Modern Britain: Stephen Tallents and the Birth of a Progressive Media Profession, is published by Manchester University Press.
It tracks Tallents’ career at the BBC and in central government and places him in the field of liberal innovators who saw public relations as an essential part of democracy, even in wartime.
The ISBN-13 is 978-0719084577. The book nominally costs £60 but can be purchased at lower prices online.
The second book in this short review is Mordecai Lee’s Promoting the War Effort – Robert Horton and Federal Propaganda 1938-1946. It is published by Louisiana State University Press.
Although there were no connections between Tallents and Horton, this history covers much the same period including wartime communication and propaganda. Horton was less well known than his British contemporary but was a senior manager in several US federal government agencies where he wielded great influence on the nature, substance and limits of governmental propaganda.
The ISBN-13 is 978-0807145296. The book is priced at £25.65 in the UK and can be purchased online.