2012 Reprint of 1922 Edition. "Public Opinion" is a critical assessment of functional democratic government, especially the irrational, and often self-serving, social perceptions that influence individual behavior, and prevent optimal societal cohesion. The descriptions of the cognitive limitations people face in comprehending their socio-political and cultural environments, proposes that people must inevitably apply an evolving catalogue of general stereotypes to a complex reality, rendered "Public Opinion" a seminal text in the fields of media studies, political science, and social psychology. "Public Opinion" proposes that the increased power of propaganda, and the specialized knowledge required for effective political decisions, have rendered impossible the traditional notion of democracy. Moreover, the work introduced the phrase "the manufacture of consent", which Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman used as the title of their book "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.