In this remarkable second novel by Burt Zollo, we meet Lyle Kopp, a
public relations man in Chicago during the Sixties. P.R., at this
time, is still a relatively new, undefined profession, and Kopp is
one of the pioneers in shaping the public perception of P.R., which
is, after all, all about shaping public perceptions. Kopp's world
is one of publicity stunts, politics, romance, family, ambition,
and friendships real and forced. It's a story of a profession never
before explored so intimately and insightfully in fiction, and the
story of a family man, who balances a home life in suburbia with a
work life in the city.
"State & Wacker" is also very much the story of Chicago,
which happens to be Zollo's hometown. His Kopp is a savvy guy,
balancing the art and science of his growing field, while
struggling with the awareness of the power of persuading public
opinion on behalf of his clients. Even the name "Public relations"
is not free from his scrutiny, and this level of consideration
gives this novel its depth: "While he thought public relations' was
descriptive," Zollo writes, "he feared it might be considered
deceptive, not as humble as he preferred. He didn't resent the
variety of names his practice had achieved; he simply didn't want
to appear, as he explained, too grand.'" Public relations, Kopp
felt, was "the most maligned, least understood creative practice.
At its best, he thought, P.R. changed people's minds; at its worst,
P.R. bred suspicion." Walking that line between being influential
and manipulative is where this novel lives.
|Country of origin:
Zollo Burt Zollo
||229 x 152 x 29mm (L x W x T)
||Hardcover - Sewn / Cloth over boards / With dust jacket
General & literary fiction >
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