THIS JUST IN: Ben Cartwright Wants You to Know About Propaganda

Lorne Greene as “Ben Cartwright” in the long-running TV show Bonanza. (Photo: NBC)

By Nicola Hellmann-McFarland, Special Collections Library Assistant

For those of you old enough, or those who have fathers and grandfathers that remember the Golden Age of Television, the 1960s TV show, Bonanza, was about Ben “Pa” Cartwright and his three sons, who ran a farm by the name of “Ponderosa Ranch” in the Wild West during the Civil War era. Bonanza aired on television for an amazing fourteen years, and it rose to legendary status, as did Ben Cartwright, a beloved and wise patriarch, an upstanding citizen, and a conservative – in the best sense of the word. Although this was not his first television job, Canadian actor Lorne Greene (1915-1987), who played Ben Cartwright, quickly became an American household name as much as that of his alter ego.

None of his other memorable roles had reached a status as iconic as the role of Ben Cartwright, and in the face of all his “olden days” wholesomeness, who would have thought that Lorne Greene was actually quite interested in philosophy? And why is his name among those of the creators of a card game from the mid-1960s entitled The Propaganda Game? Well, one of his friends at the time was a certain Robert W. Allen, a former student of Professor George Henry Moulds, author of the book Thinking Straighter. Rumor has it that Allen and Greene “were discussing philosophical topics one evening, when Greene suggested that they design a game based on propaganda and its techniques.” Allen, remembering Moulds’ textbook, contacted his former professor, and the three men went to work on what eventually became The Propaganda Game in 1966.

“The Propaganda Game” comes with an instruction book, 40 cards containing propaganda quotations, four “prediction dials,” and a “clear thinking chart.”

Designed to be played by two to five players, the game’s neat little plastic box includes an instruction book, 40 cards containing propaganda quotations, four “prediction dials,” and a “clear thinking chart.” Players must compete in propaganda techniques like self-deception, language, irrelevance, and exploitation. The instructions indicate that one player must read a quote, and the other players must secretly decide which technique is being employed. Afterwards, they must vote on an outcome to be decided by the majority rule. Each player who did NOT vote with the majority must then try to sway the popular voters to change their vote within one minute. Finally, the majority voters are instructed to cast their ballots again, and the true outcome is determined.

The Propaganda Game has been played continuously ever since it joined the ranks of the Academic Games Leagues of America. It has educated thousands of players on how to recognize propaganda techniques used in advertisements, political announcements, and other examples from human dialogue.

We can thank Lorne Greene for creating socio-cultural awareness by lending his famous name to this game, and The Propaganda Game itself can be viewed in all its glory here at Special Collections on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.



Now Available: The Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine Collection

A small sample of zines from the collection.

A small sample of zines from the collection.

Sam #8

Sam #8

We are happy to announce the acquisition of the Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine collection at the Special Collections Department of the University of Miami Libraries. The Kaye collection constitutes a very rich and unique trove of science fiction fanzines from the 1940s to the 1970s, and represents a significant addition to our ever-growing zine holdings. The zines were originally collected by Lenny Kaye, who is best known as the guitarist for the Patti Smith Group, and for compiling the seminal 1960s garage rock collection Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era.

Science fiction fandom has been a significant source of published material, starting in the 20th century and continuing through today. The Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine collection documents the self-publishing activity of the sci-fi fandom community in the mid-20th century. Despite being primarily amateur publications, there is a significant sense of organization evident in the community. Many of the fanzines were published as part of amateur press associations, including the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), and the Spectator Amateur Press Society (SAPS). The topics of the zines include reviews of science fiction literature and films, fanfiction, updates about conventions, and news and notes about different fan clubs dedicated to the genre. Some fanzines might veer off into the intensely personal, while others devolve into gossip about other fans or writers.

The National Fantasy Fan

The National Fantasy Fan

The collection includes important titles, such as Cry of the Nameless, JD-Argassy, and Yandro, and is truly international in scope: zines held include those produced in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan and several European countries.

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Yandro

 

 

 

 

The Special Collections Department at the University of Miami Libraries holds over 5,000 zines in six unique collections. In addition to science fiction, our zines also include punk rock fanzines, perzines, and independent publications covering a wide variety of other subjects, such as LGBT rights, environmentalism, art and poetry. We have a significant amount of zines from South Florida, as well as zines produced in countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.



COOLCRAZYBEAUTIFUL: Train Approaching UM’s Student Union

marcia-headshot_thumbA Pick of the Week from

Special Collections of the UM Libraries

By Marcia Heath, University Archives technician

 

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Train approaching Student Union, University of Miami Office of Communications and Marketing Historical Photograph Collection [Collection in Process]

A recent and generous donation from the University of Miami’s Office of Communications and Marketing has provided us with several boxes of captivating photographs which hail as far back as the mid-1900s and capture the essence of university life from UM’s formative years to the present. The growth and transformation of our campus is well documented in these photographs through candid, everyday shots of students, faculty, and staff. The photographs also focus on a particularly interesting aspect of the University during the near decade in which UM owned its very own locomotive train line.

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The Gold Coast Railroad operated from 1958 to 1966. University of Miami Office of Communications and Marketing Historical Photograph Collection [Collection in Process]

How this even transpired was largely due to the efforts of several train enthusiasts in University of Miami’s early administration, who managed to convince the U.S. General Services Administration to lease a set of railroad tracks that had been located near the University of Miami South campus to the University to be turned into a fully operational train. The Miami Railroad Historical Society was then formed and placed in charge of the entire operation, and they officially named the line “The Gold Coast Railroad.” It remained in service from 1958 to 1966, acquiring new train carts along the way through generous donations and concentrated efforts from the administration, and eventually expanded enough to offer rides to the general public.

The Gold Coast Railroad was discontinued during the Cuban Missile Crisis so that the land could be used by the CIA. The train line never reopened. However, the cherished memories of this once treasured University feature are well preserved through these photos. Be sure to visit the University Archives at the Otto G. Richter Library to view this collection.

COOLCRAZYBEAUTIFUL is written by Yvette Yurubi and showcases unique items at Special Collections and the University Archives discovered by librarians and staff members while on the job. They gather monthly for “Show and Tell” to present their top finds. You too can experience these items up close, and access other rare and interesting treasures, by visiting Special Collections and the University Archives, located on the 8th floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.