Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism

Author: Robert Jay Lifton

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 9780807882887

Category: History

Page: 524

View: 224

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Informed by Erik Erikson's concept of the formation of ego identity, this book, which first appreared in 1961, is an analysis of the experiences of fifteen Chinese citizens and twenty-five Westerners who underwent "brainwashing" by the Communist Chinese government. Robert Lifton constructs these case histories through personal interviews and outlines a thematic pattern of death and rebirth, accompanied by feelings of guilt, that characterizes the process of "thought reform." In a new preface, Lifton addresses the implications of his model for the study of American religious cults.