chapter
6 Pages

Editor’s Introduction

WithSola Pool Ithiel de

The scientific analysis of political communications arose as the new technologies of mass communications were used by governments for propaganda, by revolutionary leaders to organize mass followings, and by democracies for daily politics and policy discussion. Content analysis, as it is called, was an evolving set of methods to observe and understand the public political process, including the spread of emotion-charged ideas and words across national boundaries. Ithiel Pool, Harold Lasswell, Nathan Leites, Alexander George, Irving Janis, and many other social science pioneers who were Pool’s contemporaries were fascinated by psychoanalysis and underwent personal psychoanalysis. In the beginning, Ithiel Pool counted words. As Ithiel describes, it can be useful to count words, obtain frequency distributions, and know that the word “democracy” began to capture imaginations in a certain historical period, and that it become so highly esteemed that almost everybody began to claim their political loyalties as “democratic” and to describe their revolutions as “democratic” or a “people’s” revolution.