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Battle for the Mind

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  13 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 yea ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by ISHK (first published 1957)
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3.89  · 
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 ·  117 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Jul 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dean Akin
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
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.
Joanne St.Clair
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a concise introduction to the tactics and techniques used in brainwashing, from an introduction to the work of Pavlov, to the methods used in the Soviet Union and religion, then this book is ideal. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is well researched, drawing on information and studies from many areas.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Whilst clearly dated and more of a 3.5 than a 4 Sargants work is nevertheless a very engaging and worrying book. In his work he sets out to show how purely physiological mechanisms can have a dominating role in beliefs that eclipse reason and emotion and whats more how these mechanisms can be used and abused as well as how they can be resisted. -Importantly he focuses on the method(s) themselves and not the truth of the various religions and ideologies who use them.

Something else that was partic
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 Curless
Mar 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-school
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!
Mircea Lungu
Jan 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned
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.
Shakir Sharfraz
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you think Pavlov's experiments were only about dog salivating on a bell sound, then this book will help you get up to speed with Transmarginal inhibition, paradoxical and ultra-paradoxical states. Learn how brainwashing techniques had been used from the early periods by different groups and cults. A must read.
Susan Hasler
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this to help get an understanding of 1950s psychiatry for a novel I was writing. Fascinating stuff and worth a few evenings of your time.
Nov 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Oh, we have got so much better at it now. Why people will even vote against their own self interest.
Hannes Andreas
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read on the history of Christian brainwashing among other things.
Nana Kwansa
Jun 21, 2015 marked it as to-read
It is a great book.
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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