Larry Tye
Larry Tye
The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of Public Relations
ISBN: 0517704358
The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of Public Relations
The Father of Spin, by Boston Globe reporter Larry Tye, is the first full-length biography of the legendary Edward L. Bernays who, beginning in the 1920s, was one of the first and most successful practitioners of the art of public relations. This book tells of Bernay's classic campaigns including:
  • A "Torches of Freedom" march of debutantes down Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday, 1929, that recast smoking as an act of women's liberation, made headlines coast to coast, and convinced a generation of women to light up - increasing profits for Bernay's client, the American Tobacco Company.
  • A masterfully-orchestrated, secretive campaign to help overthrow the leftist government of Guatemala in the 1950s. The beneficiary: The United Fruit Company, a Bernays client whose banana republic was threatened by a socialist regime.
  • Equally skillful efforts, on behalf of equally self-interested clients, to transform bacon and eggs into the All-American breakfast, to make Ivory the soap of choice for a generation, and to put Calvin Coolidge back into the White House.

Using ideas borrowed from his uncle, Sigmund Freud, Bernays demonstrated to an entire generation of budding PR men and women the enormous power that lay within their grasp. If consumers could be guided in their selection of soap, so could husbands in their choice of a car and voters in their selection of candidates. Indeed, the very substance of American thought was mere clay to be molded by the savvy public relations practitioner, or so it seemed.

The Father of Spin uses Bernay's life as a prism to understand the evolution of the craft of public relations and how it came to play such a critical—and sometimes insidious—role in American life. Drawing on interviews and primary sources, including Bernay's newly available private papers, Tye presents a fascinating and revealing portrait of a man who was one of the first and most articulate advocates of public relations, a profession that today helps define our commercial choices and shape our political discourse.
—from the publisher's website

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TRANSCRIPT
The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of Public Relations
Program Air Date: September 20, 1998

BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Larry Tye, author of "The Father of Spin," who was he?
Mr. LARRY TYE, AUTHOR, "THE FATHER OF SPIN: EDWARD BERNAYS & THE BIRTH OF PUBLIC RELATIONS": He was Edward L. Bernays, and he was around for most of this century and had a big influence on what happened starting in the 1920s and going till he died in 1995.
LAMB: On this cover, you see a fan and some bananas and a woman smoking. What do the three things stand for?
Mr. TYE: Let's start at the bottom with the woman smoking. That's the campaign that Bernays led to get American women smoking, starting in the 1920s, and we can talk about that. The bananas are the campaign that he led in the 1950s to overthrow the leftist government of Guatemala. And the fan is General Electric, and he worked for them and did lots of things over lots of years, the most notable of which was the 50th anniversary of the invention of the electric light bulb, and he helped publicize Thomas Edison and the whole GE operation.
LAMB: Now you had a meeting with--one meeting with Edward--Eddie Bernays in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Tell us everything about that that you remember. And what year was it?
Mr. TYE: Sure. It was really an incredible meeting. It was in 1994. He was 102 years old. His health was failing, his mind was beginning to go, and yet, he pulled himself together for that afternoon meeting. It was really an incredible session. He came down dressed in a suit. He told story after story about his campaigns that were harking back to things that had happened 80 years before. He told them in wonderful, stunning detail the way he always did. His eyes lit up, and he really clearly, for that afternoon, pulled himself together and was the consummate PR man that he had been for 80 years. And it was just--it was a great day. He died a year later. I felt really lucky to have met him, and that day convinced me that I had to write the biography of this guy.
LAMB: Now here's a picture--the last picture in the book. Who's in this?
Mr. TYE: That is Eddie, and to his immediate left is his wife Doris, his wife of 60 years.
LAMB: You mean to his right.
Mr. TYE: To his right. I'm sorry, to his right.
LAMB: Our left, yeah.
Mr. TYE: Our left. He--and the rest are his grandchildren. His two, four, six grandchildren, three from each daughter, and that was one of the many celebrations they had at their wonderful home in Cambridge, where they entertained the whole family perpetually.
LAMB: When did you first get interested in him?
Mr. TYE: I got interested in him in 1994 when I was a Neiman fellow at Harvard University. I was taking a great course on creative writing from his daughter, Anne Bernays, a noted novelist. And she convinced me that her father was really an important historic figure throughout the 20th century. Her husband, Justin Kaplan, who's a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, convinced me that he would make a great biography. And every journalist who was there in this Neiman Fellowship program was looking for a way to find something beyond newspaper work that they wa--had come from, that everybody dreamed about writing a book. This guy seemed like a perfect character, and I decided at the end of that year that I was gonna go back and try to write a book on him.
LAMB: Now we were showing a picture of him--that single picture there. What year is that, do you know?
Mr. TYE: That looks like it was in the n--late 1930s, maybe early '40s, and the--that's sort of what he looked like for most of his career. That's a wonderful classic shot, very spiffily dressed, a guy who was quite short, quite self-conscious about being short but who was an overpowering presence every room he walked into.
LAMB: How tall was he?
Mr. TYE: He was 5'4" and something. It depended on who he was talking to how tall he decided to be that day, but the--it was something that he was conscious of throughout his life.
LAMB: Who did you talk to the most to get ready to write this book?
Mr. TYE: Well, what I did actually the most before I got ready to write it was tried to talk to everybody who was important in today's PR world, from Harold Burson, who was the founder of the largest PR firm in the world, Burson-Marsteller, to people all around the country who were retired who remembered Eddie and to try to see whether they agreed that this was a seminal figure in their field.

And the more people I talked to, the more I realized that he was a very controversial guy, but everybody agreed he had played a role that really was very, very important. And what really convinced me, though, was to actually go and start looking through the 800 boxes of papers he had left to the Library of Congress. And the more I looked at those, the more I decided this guy had left a record of events that were critical in American history that nobody else had left a record of.
LAMB: Let's go back on--in your situation. What do you do full-time?
Mr. TYE: I'm a reporter at the Boston Globe. I cover medicine.
LAMB: How long have you done that?
Mr. TYE: I've been at the Globe for a dozen years and covered medicine for three or four of those years.
LAMB: So when you got your Neiman Fellowship, you just had to go across the river to go to Cambridge.
Mr. TYE: Exactly. I had to go across the river. Loved the Globe and was excited to go back but also was looking for a way to try something different, which was this book.
LAMB: How did you get into the medical reporting?
Mr. TYE: I had come from a family--my dad was a doctor, brother-in-law who was a doctor and the medicine was something that had always intrigued me, and it just--when I started reporting, it seemed like a natural thing to do. And in Boston, there's nothing more natural and more critical to medicines and industry in the city, as well as all the people who care about health care of their own.
LAMB: Where did you grow up?
Mr. TYE: I grew up in Massachusetts in a small town called Haverhill, which is an old mill city about 45 miles north of Boston.
LAMB: Where'd you go to college?
Mr. TYE: I went to Brown University.
LAMB: And when did you first get interested in being a writer?
Mr. TYE: I was always interested in writing at Brown, but I used to think I had a very cynical view of reporters. I thought they were people who couldn't do much on their own and had to live vicariously. After working, following college in Washington for four years, I wanted to see another part of the country before I moved back to New England and it seemed like writing and reporting a great way to do it. So I went south to the Deep South, worked for a wonderful little paper called The Anniston Alabama Star and intended to stay there for six months; ended up there for two years and in reporting for a lifetime.
LAMB: Did you say you were in Washington for four years?
Mr. TYE: I was here for four years.
LAMB: Where?
Mr. TYE: I was working for two years for Mike Dukakis during his first term as governor and then for two years for an environmental group called the Union of Concerned Scientists.
LAMB: Eight hundred boxes in the Library of Congress.
Mr. TYE: Overwhelming and yet wonderful, yes.
LAMB: Eddie Bernays is what?
Mr. TYE: Eddie Bernays is--every piece of paper he wrote during a life of 103 years and everything that he received, and he just--he saved it all. And, interestingly, he donated it when he was 75 years old. And the Library of Congress thought, `This guy is aging. We've got to get this stuff ready soon. He's an important figure.' And so they rushed to get it ready. Well, he surprised them. He had said the documents couldn't become public until he died, and he died 28 years later. So they may be the best organized collection in the history of the Library of Congress.
LAMB: Were you the first one there?
Mr. TYE: Thankfully, I was the first one there. Yes.
LAMB: How many of the 800 boxes did you get into?
Mr. TYE: Probably 750 of them. I mean, I at least looked through just about everything.
LAMB: How long did it take you?
Mr. TYE: It took me--I spent, I guess, five or six months in Washington looking through those documents. Bernays also charted his own biography in a way that was really quite exceptional. He had a--a graduate student at the Harvard School of Education, 30 years ago, put together an annotated bibliography of every book and article he had written, every time that he was ever quoted in anything from The New York Times to somebody else's book or magazine story. This was a wonderful collection that went on for about 750 pages, and the--I'm sure that I'm the first person to have ever really spent any time looking at that book. He had tens of thousands of copies printed, but it was really a wonderful road map to everything that had been written about him. So not only did he leave all of his papers, he left me this map of everything that he had ever written or had been said about him.
LAMB: This picture here on the bottom...
Mr. TYE: That is Ed Bernays with his mother who, at the time, was probably in her 90s. She was Sigmund Freud's sister, and with them is a young Walter Cronkite. And Eddie Bernays always acted as a consummate PR man for everybody in his family, from his daughters to his own mother. I'm sure he had arranged for Cronkite to come in and interview her on the occasion of some late birthday of hers.
LAMB: Most people listening know who Sigmund Freud was, but for purposes of this discussion, who was he?
Mr. TYE: For this discussion, he was Eddie Bernays' uncle. He was the man who told him exactly how to understand human psychology and how to use it. And while Freud was using psychology to try to basically free people from their emotional bonds, his--his nephew took a different lesson from it. He used psychology and an understanding of why people behaved the way they do to help tie them to his clients, be they companies or politicians. He was really a brilliant student of his uncle's but did things with his uncle's psychology that might have made his uncle really turn over in his grave if he saw all these things.
LAMB: How well did he know his uncle?
Mr. TYE: He knew him quite well. As a youngster, he spent time with him in Europe on family vacations. And when he was in his 30s and 40s, in his most formative years, he had a 20-year correspondence with his uncle. Again, these papers were made public for the first time in the Bernays collection, and they showed a side of Freud and Bernays that I found intriguing.
LAMB: What did you learn about Sigmund Freud?
Mr. TYE: I learned that during that 20-year period, while the world was focusing on him and what he was doing with his psychological theories, he was really petrified about how he was gonna survive financially. It was in Vienna; the Nazis were closing in; he had very little money. And the person in the world that he could most easily turn to was his consummately American nephew, Ed Bernays. And he turned to him for advice on how to survive physically but, more importantly, on how to have the financial resources to support himself and his family.
LAMB: Where was Eddie Bernays born?
Mr. TYE: He was born in Vienna. He came over on the boat when he was one. And he spent the next 60-something years in New York and, thankfully to me, he retired in Cambridge a few blocks from where I live.
LAMB: Got a photo here of, I believe, Eddie Bernays and his wife Doris.
Mr. TYE: Yes. It's Eddie and his wife Doris. They were bound for Europe in a--this was a memorable photo in part because she was the first American woman to have a passport issued in her maiden name. She went for most of her life by Doris Fleischman, never took his name, and that really created wonderful waves in terms of the feminist movement in America. And for Eddie Bernays, it also did wonderful things for him in terms of attracting attention to them, and that's what he tried to do through much of his life.
LAMB: Being a Jew was a problem for him or being a religious person was a problem. Explain all that.
Mr. TYE: Sure. He basically didn't believe in God, but more importantly, as part of his whole world view, he saw the world as something that he could mold. He was the PR man who could come in and tell us how to look at things, how to behave, how to believe. And the idea of religion and the idea that things were already set in some sort of divine order was something that was con--contrary to basically everything that he believed. And so he never had any use for religion and disparaged it. When his daughter asked him at about age five, `What am I?' he said, `You're nothing.' He said, `You are what you want to be.'
LAMB: Did he not like being a Jew?
Mr. TYE: He didn't like religion of any kind, and I think that in terms of his Jewish identity, he used that at times when it helped him in terms of having this cultural identity with many important people. But he never saw himself as a Jew and he never wanted to be defined as that. He never wanted to be defined as anything other than what he told you he was, an identity that he had fashioned himself.
LAMB: We showed a picture earlier with him and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Mr. TYE: Yes.
LAMB: What did he do for her?
Mr. TYE: He helped her promote her memoirs, and the--as he did with every client of his, he developed a bit of a--a deeper relationship and tried to give her advice on all kinds of things. But this was in her later years, and he was brilliant in promoting anything, including people's personal memoirs.
LAMB: What did he do for Calvin Coolidge?
Mr. TYE: For Calvin Coolidge--Calvin Coolidge had--at the time that he had inherited the office of the presidency, he had an image problem. And Eleanor Roosevelt, the--it wa--Teddy Roosevelt's daughter had basically coined a phrase about Calvin Coolidge that really stuck in the American public's mind and the press' mind, and that was that he was weaned on a pickle; that he had a personality so sour that it was said that he was actually weaned on a pickle.

And the Bernays went in and tried to sweeten things up, and what he did was arrange for a trainload of starlets, along with the famous entertainer Al Jolson, to come from Broadway in New York to Union Station in Washington, to be picked up at the White House by Cadillacs, to be brought in for a morning where they spent the morning eating breakfast with the president and actually singing and dancing with him. And one of my favorite newspaper headlines ever was the next morning in The New York Times where it said, `President Almost Smiles.' And this was--Eddie Bernays had managed to lighten up this seemingly dark president. And several months later, he was re-elected.

Clearly, Bernays doesn't deserve all the credit, but it just--it helped people see this guy as a human being for the first time, and that really did--Coolidge thought, helped him a lot.
LAMB: Who paid for all that?
Mr. TYE: The White House paid for it.
LAMB: What'd he do for Herbert Hoover?
Mr. TYE: What he tried to do was the same thing for Hoover. Hoover, again, was seen as a dark personality at a very dark time in our history with the Depression, and Bernays thought that he could come in and rally business leaders and eventually rally the public behind Hoover. And he had wonderful campaigns to try to do that, but he just--that was one that he couldn't overcome all the natural obstacles Ho--Hoover faced then. And as we know, Hoover lost badly, and Bernays chalked it up to experience that even he, the brilliant spinmeister, couldn't do what needed to be done for Hoover.
LAMB: A graduate in agriculture from Syracuse...
Mr. TYE: Correct.
LAMB: ...Eddie Bernays.
Mr. TYE: Actually, a graduate in agriculture from Cornell.
LAMB: I'm sorry, Cornell.
Mr. TYE: And--and he decided the--that after his time in Cornell, spending all this time in the fields with cows and manure, that he never wanted to see another farm in his life. He came out with what he felt was a much more important lesson, which is that people's behavior could be dramatically influenced and that he was somebody with a certain kind of charisma who wanted to get into the field of dealing with the public and, as I say, never wanted to be on another farm or shovel another pile of manure in his life.
LAMB: How did he pick agriculture and how'd he pick Cornell?
Mr. TYE: It wasn't much of his de--choice, either agriculture or Cornell. Cornell was a natural choice once he decided on agriculture, and his parents had basically pushed him to agriculture. These were people who came over as immigrants and who decided that being close to the--to the land, as Teddy Roosevelt was saying at the time, was really the surest way of ensuring your future and your family's. They convinced their son to do that. He reluctantly bought into it, but from the day he got there, I think he knew he was gonna do something different.
LAMB: William O'Dwyer, 1940--you say that he actually wrote the first voter portrait.
Mr. TYE: Absolutely. What he did--he, for the first time in American history, broke down voters by everything from their ideology to their religion to their race. And he decided that if you broke the electorate down in these ways, you could fashion various kinds of appeals to appeal to various voters. This was the days--in the days before scientific polling, but he was essentially structuring a campaign in the same way we do today; that you have all these interest groups out there, and you fashion a pitch that will appeal to each interest group.

He did it for O'Dwyer. He did it for other candidates. And he helped, again, father the whole notion of spinning today--political spinning of polling, of scientific research. Bernays always believed that behind every campaign, critical for the PR man, was understanding psychology, sociology and history. And this was what he called the science of PR. And he wanted to combine that science with an art form of brilliant stunts. And together, he felt you had a new profession here of public relations.
LAMB: Who was William O'Dwyer?
Mr. TYE: O'Dwyer was a young guy who was running for mayor, who later was elected mayor, and the--and Bernays was somebody who believed in this guy but also believed in testing out his theories that he had done so effectively for corporations to see whether they could work for politicians as well.
LAMB: Do you remember the list that was published a couple of--several months ago, maybe a couple of years ago--the Newt Gingrich list of words that people were supposed to use...
Mr. TYE: Yes.
LAMB: ...in political campaigns?
Mr. TYE: Yes. That, again, sounds exactly like a Bernays approach to things; that the--he understood the symbolic power of words and, as Gingrich did, Bernays understood that you couldn't just pick these words out of the air, that you had to sort of test out what their impact was. And he would often go to disciples of his uncle and ask them to help him understand the symbolic value of different approaches that he was trying to use in campaigns, including the symbolic value of words.
LAMB: Well, you've got a list of 'em: assail, deny, predict, hail, ask, promise, appeal, urge, hope, advocate, see, say, tell, declare, deplore, request, remark, reveal, propose, condemn, exhort, praise, forecast, demand, thank. Where'd you find the list?
Mr. TYE: That was a list in one of Bernays' campaign brochures for various clients. That was, I think, one that he had prepared specifically for O'Dwyer or one of his other political clients. But he urged those same kind of things on his corporate clients. And each of those words, you'll notice, not only is powerful but it is an action-oriented word, and he believed that words ought to convey action. And the--in a way that every writer understands today, that the--that you want things to be in an active tense and you want real power behind the words. And Bernays understood those could serve his clients.
LAMB: What did he do for Clare Boothe Luce?
Mr. TYE: For her, he helped when she was a young congresswoman and her husband was a very powerful owner and editor of Time magazine. He helped her fashion an image and fashion issues that she thought were important to her and that he thought could sell to the public. And in campaign after campaign, he helped her develop programs and understand how to sell them to people.
LAMB: But along the way, you found inconsistencies. You found where he would say one thing and you would find others.
Mr. TYE: Absolutely. Let me give you an example of one of the most dramatic inconsistencies. During the years in the 1920s and '30s, when he was helping sell American women on smoking cigarettes, there were scores of inconsistencies that came up in the campaigns. His most dramatic campaign, in terms of selling cigarettes, was in 1929, the tobacco makers realized and the one that he was working for, American Tobacco, which was the biggest tobacco company--they realized that they had managed in cracking the male market for their products generally and particularly for Lucky Strikes, their number-one seller.

But they couldn't reach women. They went to Eddie Bernays and said, `We've got half of the American market out there that we're not reaching at all. What can we do?' He said, `Give me a minute.' He went to see this disciple of his uncle's, Dr. A.A. Brill, and said to Brill, `What is it that cigarettes represent symbolically to women? Why aren't they smoking cigarettes?' And Brill said, `It's very simple. Cigarettes are a male-imposed taboo. Men have convinced women that it's unladylike to smoke cigarettes.'

Bernays thought that was brilliant. He went out and arranged for a dozen debutantes on Easter Sunday in 1929 to march down Fifth Avenue holding what he called their torches of freedom. The newspapers couldn't resist. The next day, just about every newspaper in America and across the world had a picture of these very elegant debutantes marching on Easter Sunday down Fifth Avenue with a cigarette dangling from their hands or their mouth. And they called it the torches of freedom parade. And that helped launch an entire movement of women in the '20s and '30s seeing cigarettes as a sign of liberation, and instead of being something that the--th--they were seen as a taboo for women, they became a positive social value. Women, in large numbers, followed men into smoking.

The inconsistencies--you asked about his inconsistencies. The inconsistencies were lots of things in that campaign. They were partly the fact that nobody ever understood that it was Eddie Bernays or American Tobacco who would convince these debutantes to do what they did. The inconsistencies were that at the same time he was trying to pitch cigarettes to women, he was telling his young daughters at home any time they found their mother's cigarettes to break them in half and flush them down the toilet.

The inconsistencies were that he had evidence then, the earliest evidence, of some of the potential health threats of cigarettes, and he helped his tobacco company client either rebut those or, when they could, to cover them up. And yet, 60 years later, he was working with the American Cancer Society, helping them try to wean women from these habits that they had formed and telling the world, when they asked, that he had never understood the health risk of cigarettes when he, in fact, had had evidence as early as the 1930s. So there were incredible inconsistencies throughout most of his campaigns, and we see it in the cigarettes.
LAMB: Go back to the story about the--the--the march.
Mr. TYE: Yes.
LAMB: And--I mean, I just wonder if there's any similarity to the things you hear today. He had a secretary that got involved in this whole thing--I mean, you're talking about Fifth Avenue...
Mr. TYE: Yes.
LAMB: ...St. Patrick's Church, St. Thomas--all these churches along the way. And how did he get women to march down Fifth Avenue smoking a cigarette?
Mr. TYE: He had his secretary, Bertha Hunt, send a telegram to these women and, basically, asked them if they wouldn't join in doing something that would strike a blow for women's freedom.
LAMB: How'd he find the women?
Mr. TYE: He found the women by going to the editor--I think it was either--a--a vogue magazine and got a list of these wonderful debutantes. She simply took her telegram, sent it out to all these women and got enough of them to agree to participate that he knew he had an event. And they actually screen managed--stage managed for these women exactly what they ought to do in terms of just how to come down the church steps, just what to do in terms of lighting up the cigarettes. And he had warned the press beforehand to what was going--what was gonna go on. So everything was perfectly scripted, except for the fact that nobody knew who the script-writer was.
LAMB: You say that there are 125,000 PR people in the United States today?
Mr. TYE: Correct. There were a handful when he got started, and today there are at least 125,000, yes.
LAMB: And now the issue is also there as to whether or not he was actually the father of public relations.
Mr. TYE: Yes, a big issue. And it depends how we define `father.' If father is defined as the first, it's clear that there were somewhere between six and 12 people who were out there before he was doing essentially the things that constituted public relations. If father is defined as somebody who was the spiritual and emotional and scientific originator of a lot of the things that we think of today as public relations, Bernays was the one who was the most inspired of the early people, and he was also the one who was best at crafting his own legacy. He was the one who continually insisted with the press that he was the father. And if you repeat things often enough, they take on a certain truth.

Reporters were so used to calling him the father of PR, and he outlived all of his would-be competitors to the throne, that when he died The New York Times and every other major newspaper in America, in his obit, declared him the father of PR. And he would have loved that, 'cause that was a title that he tried to win for 103 years.
LAMB: How many books did he write?
Mr. TYE: He wrote 15 books. He wrote scores of articles. And he left behind an incredible written legacy.
LAMB: And how long was his autobiography?
Mr. TYE: His autobiography was more than 500 pages. It recounted, in excruciating detail, every significant and insignificant event in 103--or I guess at that time, a 70- or 80-year-old lifetime.
LAMB: What'd you think of it?
Mr. TYE: I thought it was wonderful for me, since he wasn't around, to help me work my way through his life. It was a great thing for me. I can't imagine that anybody else really plowed their way through it, other than maybe his daughters and--and people who were his proteges. But it was very, very difficult to wade through.
LAMB: But you also se--found some 1971 oral histories from Columbia University.
Mr. TYE: Correct. I found oral histories from Columbia, and I found so many scores of interviews. This guy talked so much and the--about everything that he had done in his life that the Columbia oral histories--by the time I got to those, I felt like I could have recited them. He told the same stories so often that I felt, having read his autobiography, having listened to 80 hours of his tapes and having read scores of newspaper interviews over the years and magazine interviews that by the time it came to Columbia, I knew the stories as well as he did, I thought.
LAMB: Page 90--`"An honest public relations practitioner," Bernays reasoned, "could use all the wiles of the profession to measure public opinion and to try to sway it to see how people perceive politicians and repackage them more to the public's liking, provided it was all done, quote, `to lead the people to where they want to go. Leadership in a democracy is solving the problems they believe needs solving,'"' unquote.
Mr. TYE: Right. Bernays didn't believe in God, but his--the closest thing to a God to him was the PR man. And he felt that PR people were out there to take these unruly masses, to give them some order and to lead them in a useful--socially useful direction, which was a nice idea. The fact is, the direction he was leading people in was one that served his clients.
LAMB: Do you think you would have liked him if you got to know him real well?
Mr. TYE: I think I would have liked him, like--I don't know who your grandfather was, but the--we all have at least a metaphorical grandfather who is part, sort of, conniver and character and part lovable guy. And there are parts of him I definitely would have liked. I would not have wanted him for a father or a grandfather, but I certainly would have enjoyed him. He was somebody that was tough not to at least enjoy, even if you didn't respect at all times.
LAMB: What's this picture?
Mr. TYE: That's a picture of one of his most famous campaigns. He worked for more than 30 years for Procter & Gamble, and he decided in the 1930s again that you had to take a symbolic and a psychological approach in trying to sell a product. They were trying to sell the product of Ivory Soap, and what he did was launch a campaign that was based on soap sculpting. We see here judges looking at scores of soap sculpting done by kids all across the country. Bernays decided that little kids were never gonna like the idea of cleaning up with soap, but he also understood that you could sell soap by convincing kids that they had to talk their mother into buying a particular brand when they were at the market with her.

And what he did was start this contest, got, by the end, millions of young kids all across the country competing by sculpting the only bar of soap that was acceptable in the contest, which was Ivory, into everything from likenesses of the Statue of Liberty to Calvin Coolidge. The kids became wed to the contest, they became wed to Ivory Soap and Bernays got large retainers for 30 years from Procter & Gamble.
LAMB: I remember one time in--in the book you talk about--he'd bring his daughter to the office--or one of his daughters and hand her a bar of soap and say, `Have at it.' And...
Mr. TYE: He did.
LAMB: ...what was the attitude of his daughters at that...
Mr. TYE: Well, there were two attitudes. That particular day, the--when--when his daughter--one day when his daughter had at it, she actually cut herself and had to be taken to the doctor. And it'd really gotten a very deep cut. And that sort of represented, I think symbolically, to his daughter the fact that he was not always appropriate when he had her doing various things. The idea of giving a daughter a knife and saying, `Go at it,' a very young daughter, was something that was risky.

But more risky to them over the years was that every time that he was trying to sell something, they seemed to get somehow brought into the campaign to the point where we see the--that even at his daughters' weddings, he was putting out press releases and, basically, telling the world that not only were they his daughters who were getting married, but they were the grandnieces of Sigmund Freud and they were about to marry these distinguished people. And everything became a campaign to him, including raising his own daughters.
LAMB: Let's go back to this picture. You were taught by his daughter Ann.
Mr. TYE: I was taught.
LAMB: Where is she in this photo?
Mr. TYE: She is--these are his two daughters, younger daughter Ann and Doris. And the--Doris is a therapist. She was wonderful in helping me understand her father in ter--sort of what made him tick psychologically. Younger daughter Ann was wonderful in helping me understand what he was like as a human being, and as a writer, she understood just what would be useful to me as a writer. And they sort of helped me through the whole process of writing my first book.
LAMB: What did they really think of their father?
Mr. TYE: They thought that he was an intriguing character, but Ann, as she said in the book, wasn't so sure that he ever was made to be a father. They were very frustrated by him. They loved him at some level, but they were frustrated by their inability to get him to see them as young kids with all these special needs of their own, that the--that they seemed to be extensions of whatever his need was at the time and seemed to always be almost clients to him, particularly in later years.
LAMB: Did you talk to them after this book came out?
Mr. TYE: I talked to--I've talked to Ann since the book came out, yes.
LAMB: What'd she think?
Mr. TYE: She was very kind. She--she was a tough grader when we talked together, and she gave me, in a radio show, that we were on together an A- for the book, which I thought was an OK grade.
LAMB: What did she think you missed?
Mr. TYE: She thinks I think that--she thinks that nobody ever deserves an A to start with. And I think that--I'm sure there are things in there that she's certain that I missed, but she's too kind to tell me.
LAMB: Guatemala.
Mr. TYE: Guatemala, 1950s. The United Fruit Company, the biggest fruit company in America, based in Boston, has all of what it called banana republics across Latin America, which meant that it had these countries where it was the biggest employer, the biggest landowner, and the countries were always compliant. The whole republic seemed devoted to their crop of bananas and their other crops. 1950s in Guatemala, they run into a problem. A leftist government is elected. This government starts changing things. It encourages workers to push for higher wages. It expropriates some of United Fruit's land. And the company is very, very worried about what's gonna happen there and the precedent this could set in the rest of Latin America.

They bring their PR guy, Eddie Bernays, in. He understands that, again, we can't just deal with Guatemala in a vacuum, we have to work through the press and through the public in making Guatemala symbolic of something bigger. And the bigger thing at the time that was sitting there staring him right in the face was the Cold War. Guatemala suddenly became defined for the press, through Bernays, as a little country 100 or so miles from our southernmost point that was a bastion of Soviet influence and that might let the Russians really gain a foothold in our continent, scary to the American public, scary to the American government. The government ends up working with United Fruit in orchestrating a campaign to overthrow the Guatemalan leftist government, and done incredibly efficiently, sets some dangerous precedents, but really changed things in Guatemala.
LAMB: What was the Middle American Information Bureau?
Mr. TYE: That was a wonderful outfit, a front group, one of many that Bernays set up through his career to get out supposedly neutral information on what was going on in Latin America generally and specifically on Guatemala. In fact, it was Eddie Bernays and the staffers that he had hired putting out the propaganda that he wanted them to put out.
LAMB: How often did he do that, set up these front groups?
Mr. TYE: If a client was willing to pay enough money, he did it for every client that he could, and he had over 400 clients over the years.
LAMB: How much was that--is done today?
Mr. TYE: That is a good question. A fair bit of it is done today. The press is much more sophisticated in understanding and looking for those kinds of things. And the--anytime--the first question that I ask as a medical writer anytime I see a study is: Who was behind it? Who funded it? Those are questions that Eddie Bernays helped me ask in a more sophisticated way.
LAMB: Anything else you learned about being a better reporter from doing this book?
Mr. TYE: I did. I learned to ask and to be--to be cynical basically about every press release that comes across my desk. And the--when every week I get 100 e-mails or faxes or letters telling me that people have come up with the latest cure for cancer or heart disease or diabetes, I not only question the presumption behind it, I want to know who funded it, I want to know exactly how the research was done. And all the questions that Eddie Bernays hoped that reporters would never ask, I think, this book tries to tell people we ought to be asking.
LAMB: You know, in the--all these--over the years, the shows that we've done, one of the names that comes up more often almost than anybody else, it seems like, in these books--and it did again in this one--and I'll read the--the sentence: `It would also have appealed to Walter Lippmann and Sigmund Freud, Bernays' tutors in the use of symbols.'
Mr. TYE: Mm-hmm.
LAMB: What is it about Walter Lippmann that we keep--that authors keep bringing up, and why--what--how did he--what role did he play in--in Bernays' life?
Mr. TYE: He was one of a series of philosophers, starting with some people in France and coming to America with Lippmann, that understood and was trying to come up with theories to explain how you controlled the masses of the public, how did you generate some cohesion, some social cohesion? It was a time when the world was worried about communism and other forces that seemed to be taking the masses and steering them in directions that seemed to present a--a social threat to the established order in America. And Lippmann and others were trying to tell the public and, more importantly, tell our leaders, these are ways of uniting people behind the goals that you think are socially useful and important. These are ways of using symbols, whether it be the printed word, whether it be the new communication media at the time, which was the motion picture. You can make those capture certain symbolic values, certain social goals that you think are good.

Bernays was intrigued by symbolism. He was intrigued by it at one level with his uncle, Sigmund Freud, and at the sociology level with Walter Lippmann. And Walt Lippmann was somebody he never credited much but that really helped him form his whole ideas on just how public relations could come in and f--and perform this role of social cohesion.
LAMB: Born in Austria, moved to the United States, eventually went to Cornell and got an agriculture degree. Where were the different places that he lived in his life?
Mr. TYE: He lived in basically two places, Manhattan and Cambridge. He lived all over Manhattan. His family moved a number of times, depending on whether his father's economic circumstances were going up or down. Bernays lived in probably five or six different places across Manhattan, some of them wonderfully elegant. The--he moved when he was in his 60s to Cambridge for retirement and the--and ended up spending, you know, his good 40-some-odd years there.
LAMB: Where's this house?
Mr. TYE: That house is right on the border of Greenwich Village, it's across from Washington Square Park. And that was one of the first truly elegant places he lived with his two very, very young daughters.
LAMB: And you say there were chauffeurs and maids and door people and cooks and all that, and...
Mr. TYE: Everything.
LAMB: But--but you say that there were also, you know, it had a lot of--you know, had a lot of big places he lived in, but nothing inside--or, I mean, it was--you know, the one--there--there was a--somewhat of a misleading of how much money he really had.
Mr. TYE: There was misleading, but it was never--it was never clear. He, at various points, was earning, in the '30s and '40s, as much as $1 million a year, close to $1 million in those dollar terms, which would be many million in today's terms. The difficult thing was ever deciding how much money he actually was able to hold onto. He lived--at one point, they had much of a floor of the Sherry Netherland Hotel in New York, and the houses that he rented--and he generally believed in renting--or the places that he rented in hotels like that were exceedingly expensive. And so money came in, money went out, and at the end, when he died, he left much less of a legacy than anybody had ever thought.
LAMB: You say that he only had, after all of the taxes were paid, $600,000 when it was over?
Mr. TYE: Right. That was basically the value of his house. And the--and it was incredible that a guy who had earned those kinds of millions and who had advised the most brilliant corporate minds in America--if he had ever taken their advice in how to invest the money, he would've been left with millions. It was partly that he'd spent so much over the years. It was also that when people plan for retirement, they envision a retirement of 10, 20, 30 years. This guy was retired for more than 40 years, and every year, he tapped in a little bit more to his capital.
LAMB: You say that it--in--in 1988--and this is Chapter 10--11--Joan Vondra--is that the...
Mr. TYE: Joan Vondra, that's right.
LAMB: ...swept into Eddie's life.
Mr. TYE: She did. She was--she was hired as a--a caretaker. She eventually, according to her and according to various accounts that he gave, became much more than that, apparently his mistress and all kinds of...
LAMB: Was his wife dead by now?
Mr. TYE: His wife had been dead for a number of years, and Eddie had had over the y--those years various young women who had lived with him as caretakers. Joan was the oldest of those women and developed what appeared to be the closest relationship with him. And it became a very contentious thing at one point because his daughters were convinced that the--that she was taking too much of his money and of his time. And they appealed to a court to declare them conservators. They were eventually declared in control of his finances, and Joan was prohibited from seeing him.
LAMB: Did you meet her?
Mr. TYE: I did. I m--actually met her in loads of phone conversations with her, and she was very cooperative in helping write the book.
LAMB: You say that she was half his age?
Mr. TYE: She was half his age. She was early 50s, he was late 90s.
LAMB: This line just popped out of the page, I guess: `The last time they were intimate, she adds, was when he was 101'?
Mr. TYE: Yes. That's--she told stories about him having, not only an insatiable sexual appetite into his very late years, but also an incredible sexual ability in pre-Viagra days.
LAMB: Why--why did you feel a need to put that in the book--I mean, that--that--the whole chapter on his last li--last several years?
Mr. TYE: For lots of reasons, probably the--the most significant of which was this had been reported extensively in the press in Boston and picked up by the national press, and this was something that I felt was out there as a story about him. It was what a lot of people who didn't know him in his early or midyears remembered about him. And I was provided with the court document that sort of went through, gave as definitive a version as there was of all these things that had happened and felt that it was important to sort of clear up what really had gone on then.
LAMB: And in the end, what happened to Joan Vondra? Did she get any money? Did--after the whole thing was over and you say it's st--it's still a m--there may be a book there, or there...
Mr. TYE: She says there might be a book. There were--there was discussion of it, and there was actually a filing of one lawsuit that appears to have been settled. In the end, she disappeared from the scene and is living a quiet life in the Boston area now.
LAMB: What was the story back in 1993 when Doris fired Joan, Doris his daughter...
Mr. TYE: Right.
LAMB: ...and they went away somewhere and popped up in motels?
Mr. TYE: Yes.
LAMB: And--can you tell me that story?
Mr. TYE: The story was the--they had--Ed had--apparently, according to Joan, had had arguments with his daughters that day. The--and they left town with a car packed with seemingly all of his belongings, a question about whether he had a passport with him as well, and showed up in a couple motels in various parts of New England. He said afterwards that they had just gone off, and she said that they had just gone off on a ride, that they were upset with the daughters. The daughters thought that he had been kidnapped. They brought in the police and investigators, and the whole thing became sort of a crazy situation that, years later, the court tried to sort out and decided that--they were just left with differing versions, but decided that the prudent thing to do was to give the finances over to the daughters, that he was not in a state at that point, based partly on their extensive interviews with him, to regulate his own affairs anymore.
LAMB: Why did he and his wife Doris move to Cambridge, Massachusetts?
Mr. TYE: Why did they say they moved there or why did they do it?
LAMB: Both.
Mr. TYE: Those were two stories, and the--the story that he loved to tell in later years and told to scores of reporters was that he did a scientific study of all the places across the country that they could move. He looked at everything from the kinds of transportation systems they had, the kinds of natural environments. Did they have a good cultural life? Did they have great universities? And that he studied all these cities, he ruled out various ones. He was left, I think, with Berkeley and with Cambridge and with a couple other places, and that, for various reasons, he narrowed it down to Cambridge. But it was all done purely, as he said, on the same scientific basis that he always advised his clients to use.

In reality, his two daughters and all of his grandchildren lived in Cambridge, and that was the only place that made any sense from day one, and that was where he was destined to be. And the other was just a wonderful story.
LAMB: You say that at one point, he wanted to put out a personal clipping book on himself. By the way, first, let me ask you, what--what kind of an ego did he have?
Mr. TYE: He had an ego to the extent that he was often described--over the years, he had 400-and-something clients, but people said he was his own best client. He was perpetually promoting himself, and he had an ego that was not only unusual for any human being, but it was especially unusual for a PR guy. PR people are supposed to be in the background and their clients are supposed to be the only ones that we see pictures of, that we read stories about and that we see long biographies of. And Eddie Bernays was--couldn't resist promoting himself throughout the years.
LAMB: And his wife had an autobiography.
Mr. TYE: She did not. She wrote a number of books, but the--she never wrote--she's had people come along and write long pieces about her, and I suspect someday there will be a biography of her. She was an intriguing character. She was more legitimately--if--if `mother' means not only spiritual leader but means the first, she was probably the mother of PR, even if he wasn't the father.
LAMB: What was the re--their relationship as far as their business went?
Mr. TYE: He described them over the years as a--full and equal partners at home and at work, and he's right that she was a partner at business. She was wonderful at advising him. She was a better writer than he was. Some of his more outlandish schemes she would put a stop to before he embarrassed himself. So she was a wonderful partner there. It was always called Edward L. Bernays Public Relations and she was never given the kind of credit, she was never given any name on their shingle. So she was a full and equal partner in terms of the work she put in, not in terms of the credit she got, but while she was his partner at work, at home she was doing everything. She was taking care of the household, managing the staff and raising the kids, and was expected to be a partner at work when he wasn't one at home.
LAMB: You have in here his eight-part formula for a PR campaign. I'll just read it.
Mr. TYE: Great.
LAMB: `Define your objectives'--by the way, before I read them, is there anything special about this?
Mr. TYE: Nothing special other than that it was the most oft-repeated eight-part formula 'cause he would just--anytime anybody was ever interviewing him, if he was sitting across from you here today, he would tell you that he had devised that formula and that it was entirely original. It's interesting, but original, I'm not sure.
LAMB: `Define your objectives, conduct your research, modify your objectives based on--on that research. Four, set a strategy. Five, establish themes, symbols and appeals. Six, create an organization to execute your strategy. Seven, decide on training and tactics. And, eight, carry out your plans.'
Mr. TYE: Right, a wonderfully sophisticated look at some very simple ideas. He was saying, `Be strategic, understand where you're going with it and be creative in coming up with campaigns.' But as everything, it had to be put in terms of rules, and as everything, it was a bit more verbose than it needed to be.
LAMB: Thomas McCann.
Mr. TYE: Right.
LAMB: What did he thing of Eddie Bernays, and who was he?
Mr. TYE: He thought he---actually, when I used the grandfather metaphor earlier, I think that McCann might have used that same sort of image in the sense that McCann was a young PR guy at United Fruit Company when Bernays was working there, and he looked to Bernays as a--a tutor, I think, at a lot of these things that United Fruit was doing and that McCann was learning about. But over the years, he became really frustrated with some of the things Bernays had done. And when McCann wrote his expose of the United Fruit Company and particularly of the campaign in Guatemala, he said things about Eddie in terms of Eddie's having manipulated the press and having stretched the truth that outraged Bernays. Bernays felt that he had been this guy's mentor and that he had been let down. And, in fact, McCann gave him credit for things, but also was honest about it.
LAMB: Well, let me read what--what you quote him as saying. Tom McCann said, "My estimate is that we're spending in excess of $100,000 a year for Eddie--Edward L. Bernays just for his consulting services, which was an enormous amount of money in 1952. And, according to McCann, everybody in the company hated him, didn't trust him, didn't like his politics, didn't like his fees. The company execs here in Boston and in the tropics were negative on Bernays because they wanted to do business in the same old way, to foment a revolution and get our Bens the hell out of there."
Mr. TYE: Right. And I think that the--in saying that, McCann is both giving a sense of just how popular Bernays w--unpopular Bernays was, but also of how--one of the reasons that he was unpopular was because he was changing the way business had traditionally been done and that maybe he was doing something that these people could've learned from. And I think that the--that McCann really appreciated just how different and creative Bernays was, but he also appreciated how bloated his sense of himself was.
LAMB: A little bit more on Thomas McCann from his book "An American Company," published in 1976. By the way, is he alive?
Mr. TYE: He is alive and in Boston...
LAMB: Did you talk to him?
Mr. TYE: ...and he's been wonderfully supportive of me throughout the book. I talked at length to him before and after writing the book.
LAMB: `It accused Bernays of orchestrating the anti-American demonstration that took place during Arthur Hays Sulzberger's visit to Guatemala in 1949 and which helped convince The New York Times publisher that his paper should explore the troubles there.' It--how often--b--by the way, did he create an anti-American demonstration for Arthur Ha--Hays Sulzberger?
Mr. TYE: I can't say whether he created that demonstration or not. The--I can say that he clearly showed Sulzberger and the publishers of Time magazine and Newsweek and everybody else that he brought over there that he made sure they saw what he wanted them to see. And that was something that really outraged Bernays when McCann charged him with that in his book. Bernays said they went there as a totally neutral trip, that they saw everything, all sides of things, and that clearly--I can say that that's not the way Eddie Bernays would've operated, and he would've shown, as anybody would have--you're bringing these people over; you're representing one side of this. He was smart enough to show them enough to make them think that they were getting a full picture, but not smart enough to really let them talk to people on the other side.
LAMB: You have a l--more on politics. There was this on politics, you write, `In most elections, you can count on 40 percent of the voters siding with you.' This is Bernays' theory?
Mr. TYE: This is Bernays' and other people's. Whether--who were--who was the originator, it's unclear, but...
LAMB: `Forty percent on--on th--on your side, 40 percent against. What counts is the 20 percent in the middle. Winning over the undecided 20 percent is what public relations is all about.' And you write, `And to Tip O'Neill's contention that all politics is local, Bernays added that all PR is, too.'
Mr. TYE: Right. And he was really brilliant in sort of coming up with some of the basic truths about the profession he was involved with and about public behavior, and that was one of many of them. We list in the book lots of truisms like that and, again, it's unclear how many he originated, but he certainly was quoted often with them.
LAMB: Did he belong to the Public Relations Society of America?
Mr. TYE: He did at the end of his life. He never believed in organized groups. It was partly that they didn't want him, that he was so outlandish at times that he was not especially welcome member of some of the more prestigious PR groups. And he saw himself as different, always, and he wanted to be seen as a unique figure. He was never part of a big PR firm. It was always Edward L. Bernays, counsel in public relations, and some young people working under him. He just didn't want to share his expertise, his money and his glory with anybody.
LAMB: You have all these little sayings that...
Mr. TYE: Right.
LAMB: ...that he liked to--to use. He had a theory, you say, on stubbornness: `It is sometimes possible to change the attitudes of millions but impossible to change the attitude of one man.'
Mr. TYE: Right. And he knew that well because he was as stubborn as anyone.
LAMB: On how to justify high fees: `On the basis of a Latin phrase'--and I won't be able to do this--(Foreign language spoken)--that's some--that--I apologize, that's not right--`as much as one deserves. The man or the corporation is much more likely to do what you suggest if you charge a high fee than if you charge a--very little.'
Mr. TYE: Right. And he lived that. He charged excessively high fees. It was--partly, it was a new profession and nobody knew what to expect. His theory was you charge really high fees, you deal only with the CEO, and that way people take you seriously, they listen, they try to do what you're doing, and you become rich, hopefully.
LAMB: `The best defense against propaganda...'
Mr. TYE: `More propaganda.'
LAMB: `The best place to find things: the public library.'
Mr. TYE: In the public library and, throughout his life, he used that. He would've--he was brilliant and understanding where resources were buried, and he understood how much was available there in open public forum. If he were around in the days of the Internet, he would've been the first one to learn the Internet and to use it to get more information for his clients.
LAMB: `The best press release is each sentence should have no more than 16 words and just one idea.'
Mr. TYE: Just one idea. He was--he was great, particularly in his later years, which were in his 80s and 90s, when he would have scores of young PR students over to his house and he would help them try to find a job.
LAMB: On why he read Playboy?
Mr. TYE: Because it was going somewhere he would--he never …
LAMB: `For the same reason I read National Geographic: I like to see places that I will never visit.'
Mr. TYE: `Never visit.' That's great. And it's stro--particularly great because he was apparently visiting those places into his late 90s.
LAMB: He--he doted on two things, you say, his connection with Sigmund Freud and his experiences inventing the field of war propaganda during World War I.
Mr. TYE: Right.
LAMB: What did he do?
Mr. TYE: What he did during World War I was he tried, first of all, to get into the war in active duty, and he had various--it was, I guess, bad eyes and feet that were a problem. So he tried and tried, couldn't get in, decided to join with the US propaganda agency, which was called the US Committee for Public Information. He became one of their star propagandists and he helped convince the American public that a very unpopular war at the time was one that we ought to be fighting. He helped convince our allies they ought to stick with it.
LAMB: What's this picture right here, the one on top? And he's right over there on the far right-hand side with the mustache.
Mr. TYE: That was--when they were about to sail, he was with the US committee, and they were about to set sail for Paris to the peace conference, and that turned out to be a very controversial episode for him. He upset the people who were leading the delegation by trying to work with the press. The opposition in Congress became outraged and saw this as propaganda. And Eddie Bernays had a--an ongoing battle over his role in that that continued until he wrote his autobiography and for years afterwards.
LAMB: You know, you mentioned earlier about the Library of C--I mean, that he was--you're talking about the advantage of going into libraries. What--how would you grade the Library of Congress after you s--spent all that time over there?
Mr. TYE: After I spent time there in looking through research collections and manuscript collections in a dozen other libraries across the country, I think the Library of Congress gets an A+, and I think the--they get an A+ partly because they were so brilliantly organized with the collection and partly because they helped me--when I wanted to cross-check things with other manuscript collections around the country, they were really wonderful at making that very easy. I was possibly the most ignorant author that they had ever had in there, and they were great in helping me out.
LAMB: Why do you say ignorant?
Mr. TYE: Ignorant because I was a newspaper reporter and had no idea how to write a book. And the--I was at the earliest stages of research when I was at the Library of Congress, and they just--they were great at helping me out, in understanding how to use their collection, how to use others' collections, and they ended up giving me--one of the great resources that nobody really knows much about at the Library of Congress is that if you have a book contract and if they have any open space, they will give you an office there. You often have to share it with someone, but it's really wonderful, where you can take books out to your office and keep them until somebody else asks for them. And I had this office, and that made things so much easier there.
LAMB: Which building of the three buildings wa--were your papers located in?
Mr. TYE: The papers were in the Madison Building in the manuscript collection room, which is where presidential papers are. And very unusual for somebody to get into that room if they're not a public figure, and they understood the importance of Eddie Bernays in letting him put his papers there.
LAMB: What would you recommend to someone who's never done this before? They're setting out--they--they know they've got 800 boxes of information at the Library of Congress.
Mr. TYE: Yes. I'd recommend two things. One is being really nice to the librarians there and having one or two of them that are really there to give you the kind of advice that you need when you're a neophyte with this. And the other thing I'd recommend is finding somebody like me who started out with this whole thing so ignorant and getting some tips in terms of what the resources are there to use. I had a wonderful guy who I sat next to for a couple months who may have written the best book ever written on Vietnam, Neil Sheehan, who was great at sort of helping steer me through the library and their--understand how to make them work for me.
LAMB: What was he working on?
Mr. TYE: He was working on a--a book on the Cold War, and that's probably ought to--all I ought to say about it. But the--he--he is an inspiration.
LAMB: The reason I ask is that he was our first interview on BOOKNOTES about twe--10 years ago.
Mr. TYE: Ah-ha. Well, he's--he was--if he was as inspirational on this show as he was for me in talking to him there, it was really great.
LAMB: Now you say that Eddie Bernays says, `Appeal to people's instinct'--that's his philosophy--`rather than reason.'
Mr. TYE: Correct. The--he understood...
LAMB: What's he mean by that?
Mr. TYE: ...he understood that people respond more quickly when you tap into something that's symbolically important to them. And the instinct in terms of cigarettes wasn't to convince women that buying cigarettes made any rational sense or that the money they would spend or what they were putting into their body made sense. It was to tap into something that was symbolically important. The instinct was free in the--freeing themselves from this male taboo. Everybody wants to be liberated, whatever that means, and this was an instinctual process that helped them change their behavior.
LAMB: What was his life like at the very end?
Mr. TYE: At the very end, it was difficult. He had gone through this whole traumatic thing in his last couple years with his caretaker being taken to court, with his daughters involved in the struggle over this thing. And the--and it was difficult. He had friends who visited him, but the--he lived a relatively lonely existence in his last couple years in Cambridge, which was a real contrast to what he had done when he had these wonderful parties for 30 years before that in his back yard and was one of the real social people in that community.
LAMB: How'd he die?
Mr. TYE: He died of old age. Things just gave in at the end. And the--at 103, he died quite peacefully and...
LAMB: Who was with him?
Mr. TYE: His--he had a very close friend who was with him. A couple--a number of people claim to have been with him at the very end, and that was one of the things that we talk about in the book. Trying to sort out who was actually there was unclear, but the--he had family very close around him at the end and a couple friends.
LAMB: First book for you?
Mr. TYE: Number one.
LAMB: What do you think of the whole process?
Mr. TYE: It was wonderful. As a--somebody who loves daily journalism, the idea--at a newspaper, if you're given two or three months to work on a long project, that's an incredible luxury. The idea in this case of having had an entire year to write a book was really terrific. In a newspaper, if you can use the best 5 percent of all the material you've collected, you're lucky. Here I could use the best 50-or-so percent. And it was just--the idea of having the space and the time to tell a story like this was just a true joy.
LAMB: What's next?
Mr. TYE: What's next is enjoying the Globe and at some point definitely trying another book.
LAMB: You have any idea what you'd like to do?
Mr. TYE: I do, and when I know more about it, I'd like to tell you about it.
LAMB: Is it about a person or about a s--a subject?
Mr. TYE: About a subject.
LAMB: Our guest has been the author of this book, "The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of Public Relations," Larry Tye of the Boston Globe, thank you very much.
Mr. TYE: Thank you very much.


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