Philosopher Lisa Guenther discusses the experiences of Donny Johnson, who survived solitary confinement in a supermax prison for over twenty years by immersing himself in art and writing.
Marcia Holmes and Daniel Pick’s new article ‘Voices Off: Stanley Milgram’s cyranoids in historical context’ is available to read and download.
Sarah Marks on how ‘brainwashing’ was used as a Cold War code-word for Communist mass indoctrination; and to express anxieties about consumerism after ’89.
Aleksandra Brokman on the USSR’s use of psychological techniques to improve athletes’ performance, when sport was a key arena of Cold War competition.
Despite his influence on Cold War pop-cultural, and countercultural, discussions about the brain, Grey Walter was curiously reticent on the subject of ‘brainwashing’. Andreas Killen shows how, nevertheless, Walter’s work played a key role in debates about mind control.
‘Psychic driving’ is a Cold War-era technology for reprogramming the mind that has a sordid history. David Saunders reports on its continuing appeal.
Can comic books negatively condition children’s behavior? In the 1950s that question provoked a furore, when the psychiatrist Frederic Wertham alleged comics had serious, deleterious effects. Dennis Doyle, who teaches history at St Louis College of Pharmacy, explores the story.