Propaganda in World War I.

Propaganda in World War I.

Propaganda in World War I.
An exhibition of National Széchényi Library (16 October 2015 - 9 April 2016)
Edited by Iván Bertényi Jr, László Boka
The exhibition was organized and the catalogue texts were written by: Iván Bertényi Jr., László Boka, Anikó Katona, Zsuzsanna Rózsafalvi, Oszkár Zoltán Szőts
NSZL, Budapest, 2016., 372 pages
ISBN 978 963 200 651 2

5 980,- Ft

This volume edited with special care is a bilingual catalogue of the Grand Exhibition of National Széchényi Library Propaganda in World War I. held between 16 October 2015 and 9 April 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Its 24 thematic chapters and the introductory study of the three main areas of propaganda thoroughly elaborate on the wide panorama of the exhibition built up with excellent expertise.

World War I. was the first event in history in which propaganda played a crucial role. As total war required the overall support of the public opinion, all the countries involved strived for maintaining the patriotic and military enthusiasm of their people. To quote political scientist Harold D. Lasswell: “No government could hope to win without a united nation behind it, and no government could have a united nation behind it unless it controlled the minds of its people.”

Uniquely among the Hungarian commemorative exhibitions, the event at National Széchényi Library focused mainly on this radically new phenomenon, and offered a presentation of the nature and evolution of the Hungarian World War I. propaganda. The material and the display of the exhibition searched the answer to questions like how the different forms of war propaganda worked in the Hungarian part of the Monarchy, and what techniques and media were used one hundred years ago to keep it alive.

What image of the war was transmitted by the media, and did it have to do with the reality of the battlefields? Was there anybody who dared to contradict the propaganda slogans?

The Grand Exhibition of NSZL displayed a rich set of material items and exciting interactive visual elements to present the whole process that led from overwhelming military enthusiasm to total despair, and ended – both in the exhibition and this book – with the memorials of World War I.