Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brain-Washing
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Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brain-Washing

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  6 reviews
How can an evangelist convert a hardboiled sophisticate? Why does a POW sign a "confession" that he knows is false? How is a criminal pressured into admitting his guilt? Do the evangelist, the POW's captor, and the policeman use similar methods to gain their ends?These and other compelling questions are discussed in the definitive work by William Sargant, who for many year...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Malor Books (first published 1957)
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A really amazing look at how the human mind can be manipulated by various circumstances. William Sargant worked with British war veterans who returned from the worst fronts of world war 2 and had been mentally and emotionally reduced to blank slates. By means of various techniques he was able to "undo" the damage and get them back to somewhat normal lives...Now, some of these techniques are pretty removing parts of the brain...but others like using ether and mescaline are still empl...more
This book is quite old now, but it is interesting both for its insight into the research of its time, and for things that are still fundamentally true.

Before reading the book, I had no idea that there was more to Pavlov's experiments than the often-discussed "bell = salivation" effect. It also explained to me why all sorts of strange methods are used to brainwash people, like the stereotypical "forcing them to watch weird films for hours and hours" that you see on TV sometimes.

If you can't tell,...more
Mircea Lungu
intriguing start: Pavlov and his classification of dogs in the same four categories that hyppocrates classifies people: choleric, sangvinic, ... chapter two is interesting too: observations about soldiers and civilians in the second world war breaking down after too much stress and fear show how people can change instantly in a moment of high instability.
Even the strongest soldiers of Caesar, his eagle carrying veterans break down bad after the lengthy war in Gaul.
Apesar de não se apresentar como uma obra científica, este Sargant é uma das melhores. Asséptico, confiável e amplamente referenciado, documentado. É, provavelmente, uma das melhores, mais completas e acessíveis literaturas científicas não declaradas já feitas sobre os métodos de conversão, condicionamento e domínio psico-cerebral. Um ótimo guia de sobrevivência individual para os perigos comerciais, religiosos, partidários e intelectuais dos dias de hoje.
Kailey Willmore
I read this book for a freshmen seminar class at UC Berkeley. The purpose of the book is to explain the biological processes that change your mind. The author hopes that by giving people this information they will better be able to identify situations where they are being exploited.
I gave this book to a friend of mine, who is fascinated by the study of the human brain. Her review would be more important than mine!
Dean Akin
A fascinating,a nearly decade long study of human behavior as it pertains to the physiology of conversion and brainwashing. Wether it be by politicians, psychiatrists medicine men or the religious, this book delves into the technics that are used, for good or ill, to excite the individual into a highly suggestible state that can lead to changes in their core values and behaviors. Well worth the read.
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book review 1 1 Jan 20, 2008 04:27PM  
William Walters Sargant was a controversial British psychiatrist who is remembered for the evangelical zeal with which he promoted treatments such as psychosurgery, deep sleep treatment, electroconvulsive therapy and insulin shock therapy. Sargant studied medicine at St John's College, Cambridge, and qualified as a doctor at St Mary's Hospital, London. His ambition to be a physician was thwarted b...more
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