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Brainwashing: The Story Of The Men Who Defied It

Hunter, Edward

1956, January 1

Brainwashing Hunter

First published in 1956, this book by U.S. journalist and intelligence agent Edward Hunter comprises dramatic first-hand accounts from Korean War veterans who survived P.O.W. camps and Communist attempts to brainwash them.

“The new word brainwashing entered our minds and dictionaries in a phenomenally short time. […] The reason the word was picked up so quickly was that it was not just a clever synonym for something already known, but described a strategy that had yet no name. […] The word came out of the sufferings of the Chinese people. Put under a terrifying combination of subtle and crude mental and physical pressures and tortures, they detected a pattern and called it brainwashing. […] What they had undergone was more like witchcraft, with its incantations, trances, poisons, and potions, with a strange flair of science about it all, like a devil dancer in a tuxedo, carrying his magic brew in a test tube.”

A true and terrible story of the men who endured and defied the most diabolical red torture — the war book you will never forget.

Where to Find Resource Online

Various editions of the book are available for purchase online; both as books and ebooks:


     Barnes & Noble

Digital versions are also available:

     Internet Archive

Greater Context

This book is a good example of how one needs to look at the greater context so as to take into account various perspectives.  In this case, who exactly was Edward Hunter?  Marcia Holmes delves into that question in her blog article:

     “Edward Hunter and the origins of ‘brainwashing.”

Check out other resources about brainwashing:

     Brainwashing: The Ultimate Weapon

     The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate”: The CIA and Mind Control: The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences

     Brainwashed the Movie

Filed under the following tags: communism history psychology

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