“Republic of Spin is an excellent examination of presidential communication and opinion management. [Greenberg] provides not only insight into the evolution of spin but also a much deeper look into the men behind the curtains who helped to direct the development of spin. … an excellent study of how changes to technology—particularly communication—directly affect presidential politics and policy.”

Autumn Lass

Passport: The Newsletter of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, January 2017

“A imaginative and compelling historical work. … Greenberg succeeds because he connects his arguments with descriptive writing and crisp editing, accompanied by an impressive array of secondary sources and primary documents from a hefty collection of archival material. His attention to detail brings notable authenticity, and the book’s excellent prose will hold readers’ interest.”

Louis Liebovich

Journal of American History, December 2016

“Greenberg  has provided a timely, lively account of the modern presidency, from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama, with a focus on how presidents use instruments and techniques of mass communication. … Highly recommended.”

Robert A. Strong

Choice, October 2016

“[There are] many fascinating revelations [in] this smoothly written book … a series of epiphanies. Republic of Spin is alternately fascinating, horrifying, and thought provoking.”

Alex Beam

Yale Alumni Magazine, July/August 2016

“There are so, so many things that we think of as normal today that are relatively recent inventions, and my knowledge of who started what and when was dramatically improved by Greenberg’s book.”

Eric Black

Minn Post, May 19, 2016

“Greenberg is a terrific storyteller, with a ginger touch and a falcon eye for the brilliant detail, which makes his book an education and an engrossing read. Republic of Spin is surely the definitive book on a definitively American subject: the making and manipulation of public opinion.”

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Christopher Buckley

National Interest, March/April 2016

“Republic of Spin by Rutgers historian David Greenberg, is a careful chronicle of ‘the acute awareness of political manipulation that has developed over the last century.’ It runs from the presidency of Teddy Roosevelt to that of Barack Obama, documenting all the ways in which the publicity wing of the executive branch has attempted to shape public opinion.”

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Micah Harris

First Things, February 29, 2016

“We’ve long needed an account of how Washington became Mad Men on the Potomac. A very good start is Republic of Spin by historian David Greenberg.”

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Matthew Cooper

Washingtonian, February 9, 2016

“Greenberg’s book traces the rise of the ‘public presidency’ under Theodore Roosevelt and follows it across every subsequent administration. … [A] rich, comprehensive study of political persuasion and propaganda.”

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Washington Monthly

January/February 2016

“The spinners have always been with us, but never so much as in the full sweep of the 20th century, when, as the Rutgers historian David Greenberg tells us, the spin was the thing. A reader might approach a book with a title like ‘Republic of Spin’ with trepidation, but Mr. Greenberg has produced a beguiling admixture of cynicism and idealism.”

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David Shribman

Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2016

“David Greenberg’s sound, judicious and dispassionate volume, which draws on primary sources as well as the existing academic literature, shows, from the standpoint of history, why being skeptical about how presidents try to sell themselves is, mainly, a good thing.”

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Michael Beschloss

New York Times Book Review, January 20, 2016

“Greenberg is a fluid, authoritative writer. … In Republic of Spin, [he] offers a … panoramic view, examining a century of White House news management and image-making and the broader history of political spin.”

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Columbia Journalism Review

January 11, 2016

“The success of the spin didn’t prevent Americans from realizing they were being spun, and Greenberg devotes another theme of his story to critiques of the whole business. From H.L. Mencken to Hannah Arendt and Garry Trudeau, nearly everyone who has commented on modern politics, modern communications or simply modern life has weighed in on the struggle to shape the terms of debate of democracy.”

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Washington Post

January 8, 2016

“[A] fascinating history of presidential spin … Greenberg parallels the techniques devised by spin doctors with intellectuals’ critiques of their methods. … Balanced, interesting, and timely for the 2016 campaign, Greenberg’s work will entice any reader following media and politics.”

Gilbert Taylor

Booklist, December 15, 2015

“Greenberg has written an insightful, extensive account of the image-making entailed in the modern American presidency. …This revealing account of politics as image in U.S. presidential culture should be read by any student of the American presidency and American politics.”

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Library Journal

November 17, 2015

“From William McKinley to Barack Obama, a prizewinning historian looks at the tortured marriage of public relations and the modern presidency. …At once scholarly, imaginative, and great fun.”

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Kirkus Reviews

September 30, 2015


“We don’t expect our politicians to present the facts in a neutral, disinterested manner. We expect them to make their case for a particular position.”

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President Trump and the Art of Spin

Rutgers Today, February 23, 2017

“The Goldsmith Book Prize for best trade book will be awarded to David Greenberg for Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency”

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Shorenstein Center Announces 2017 Goldsmith Prizes

Yuba Net, January 30, 2017

“Greenberg offers a narrative history of politicians and the architects of their personas — including speechwriters, public relations advisers and other image crafters — and the American public’s distaste for the political spin machine.”

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Paperback Row

New York Times Book Review, January 19, 2017

“Trump harnessed his unfiltered, shoot-from-the-hip style to a message that was also about change and shaking up Washington”

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Is Trump’s Twitter Changing the Presidency?

New York Magazine, January 11, 2017

“Rutgers Professor Receives Prestigious Literary Award”

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Daily Targum

November 17, 2016

“How Obama Manipulates the News”

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Jack Shafer

Politico Magazine, May 06, 2016

“With Nixon, spin pervades White House operations. Even when Watergate happened, his immediate response was to think of it as a public relations problem. He couldn’t see it as a scandal, a moral or ethical error.”

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Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb

April 22, 2016

“Woodrow Wilson created the first wartime propaganda agency, Calvin Coolidge staged photo-ops, Herbert Hoover produced an elaborate campaign film, Dwight Eisenhower employed a White House TV coach — every president for the past century has used sophisticated forms of spin.”

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Five Myths About Spin

Washington Post, March 18, 2016

“No one ever asked of a Steichen photograph, ‘Is it true or false?’”

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How a Little Girl Beat Barry Goldwater

The Daily Beast, February 18, 2016

“Post-primary spin works only when there’s a sizable kernel of truth underneath the rhetorical froth.”

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The art of spin: Pulling victory from New Hampshire’s jaws of defeat

Reuters, February 11, 2016

“At a certain point that spontaneity becomes a shtick”

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The White House that spin built: David Greenberg gets to root of political PR

Savannah Morning News, February 11, 2016

“He used public opinion, the press, leaks to Congress, and Upton Sinclair to reform unconscionable industries, like the meatpackers.”

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How Teddy Roosevelt Invented Spin

The Atlantic, January 24, 2016

“The ‘authentic’ politician is a myth, created by experts who traffic in the art of spin.”

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Don't be fooled – there is no such thing as an ‘authentic’ candidate

Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2016

“Though little remembered today, Emil Hurja was the first man to poll for an American president.”

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FDR’s Nate Silver

Politico, January 16, 2016

“Spin has an impish quality; it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Spin winks at its own truth stretching.”

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Why Spin Is Good for Democracy

New York Times, January 14, 2016

“The story of modern American politics isn’t a steady decline from authenticity to artifice. Rather, it is a story of the refinement of tools and techniques that presidents—pretty much all of them—have cannily exploited from the moment they became available.”

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A Century of Political Spin

Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2016

“Even in his first year, then, the man who had rocketed to power on the strength of his communication skills heard the peculiar criticism that he was a poor communicator.”

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Spinning with Obama

Dissent, Fall 2015