What War of the Worlds Did

All unwittingly Mr Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre of the Air have made one of the most fascinating and important demonstrations of all time. They have proved that a few effective voices, accompanied by sound effects, can so convince masses of people of a totally unreasonable, completely fantastic proposition as to create nationwide panic…They have cast a brilliant and cruel light upon the failure of popular education….They have shown up the incredible stupidity, lack of nerve and ignorance of thousands…If people can be frightened out of their wits by mythical men from Mars, they can be frightened into fanaticism by the fears of Reds, or convinced that America is in the hands of 60 families, or aroused to revenge against any minority, or terrorised into subservience to leadership because of any imaginable menace.

Dorothy Thompson, New York Herald Tribune, 1938, an excellent read, really.

via What War of the World Did, also an excellent read, and from which I have taken the title of this post.

The Restless Lens @restlesslens