Ithiel de Sola Pool (October 26, 1917 – March 11, 1984). Son of Rabbi David de Sola Pool and Tamar Hirshenson.. He was first educated at the Ethical Culture School in New York City. He then attended the University of Chicago where he earned his Ph.D. During WWII he researched Nazi and Communist propaganda in Washington, D.C. Pool founded the MIT Political Science Department and the MIT Communications Forum. With his leadership political science emerged as a major discipline at MIT. Pool would advise both the U.S. and other governments. He died of cancer in 1984 at the age of 66.

Pool earned his reputation with his work on the rhetorical symbols of democracy, research grounded in the analysis of political speeches by both democratic and totalitarian leaders. His later work would contribute to nearly every field of political science. Pool helped in the development of mathematical and computer models for studying political behavior.

Freedom was very important to Pool. In his youth Pool was a Trotskyite, but he became disillusioned after seeing the political leaders using ideals and imagery to take away freedoms from the people. Much of his work is concerned with how to ensure freedom and democracy.

Works by de Sola Pool:

  • The Social Impact of the Telephone
  • Technology without Boundaries: On Telecommunications in a Global Age
  • Prestige Press: a Comparative Study of Political Symbols (Study in Comparative Policy)
  • Politics in a Wired Nation: Selected Writings
  • Candidates, issues, and strategies; a computer simulation of the 1960 presidential election
  • Humane Politics and Methods of Inquiry
  • Handbook of communication
  • Forecasting the Telephone: A Retrospective Technology Assessment of the Telephone (Communication and Information Science)
  • Communication flows: a census in the United States and Japan
  • Contemporary political science: toward empirical theory
  • Trends in content analysis: paper of the work conference on content analysis of the Committee on Linguistics and Psych
  • Talking Back: Citizen Feedback and Cable Technology
  • The Small World 1

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