In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
“A lively, anecdotal primer…filled with smart and breezy tales told from an insider’s perspective.”
“O’Reilly and Tennant are exceptionally talented writers…In a straightforward, popular style, The Age of Persuasion is an easy-to-read and often subversive primer on marketing, advertising, and branding.”
Globe & Mail
“[A]n instant classic on media literacy.”
“O’Reilly and Tennant offer a witty and insightful look at the perpetually evolving advertising industry…Appealing and informative, this ragbag of pop culture references, jokes, anecdotes, solid research, and advice will be indispensable to marketers or anyone curious about the power and ubiquity of advertising in modern culture.”
“This book is at its best tracing the evolution of modern advertising.”
New York Times
“O’Reilly and Tennant pull back the curtain and show us the backstage workings of some of the most famous and successful brands in the world.”
Terry O’Reilly, who has won hundreds of international advertising awards, is the co-founder of Pirate Radio and Television in Toronto and New York. O’Reilly on Advertising and The Age of Persuasionhave been broadcast on CBC Radio since 2005 and are carried on Sirius radio in the US.
Mike Tennant, the producer/writer of The Age of Persuasion, is also the creator of many award-winning ad campaigns for North American clients.
Knopf Canada 2009
Counterpoint US April 2010
Cheers Publishing China 2010
The Age of Persuasion
How Marketing Ate Our Culture
“Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th Century.”
“Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside the swill bucket”
Witty, erudite, and irrepressibly irreverent, Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant offer a lively social history of advertising and its impact as a major cultural force in modern life.
Terry O’Reilly is the perfect guide to the age of persuasion. As the host, creator and co-writer with Mike Tennant of two wildly popular CBC Radio series on advertising, he is known as a delightful raconteur and scholar of media literature. But unlike academics, his day job as one of the top directors of radio and TVcommercials, affords him a unique perspective on marketing and how it has driven a change in the way we react to media.
The age of persuasion dawned in the 1880s with the rise of ad agencies. In its fledgling years, advertising was defined as “salesmanship on paper.” That concept was left in the dust with the explosion of media and consumerism. Radio in the 1920s and television in the 1950s spawned market research and the idea of persuasion as a “science.” The creative explosion in the 1960s, however, revealed persuasion to be a delicate “art.” In the 1980s, the arrival of a multi-channel universe and MTV’s rapid-fire editing of images and sound, forever altered our attention span and notions of fast and slow, short and long.
The authors also explore such topics as ad clutter, the implied contract advertisers have with consumers and the peril of breaking it. They chart the rise and fall of branded entertainment, disclose new language of persuasion and candidly reveal examples of opportunism and cynicism. But they also appreciate the inventiveness, craft and art in creating the best ads that add colour to daily life.
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