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A 'Manchurian Candidate' is an unwitting assassin brainwashed and programmed to kill. In this book, former State Department officer John Marks tells the explosive story of the CIA's highly secret program of experiments in mind control. His curiosity first aroused by information on a puzzling suicide. Marks worked from thousands of pages of newly released documents as well A 'Manchurian Candidate' is an unwitting assassin brainwashed and programmed to kill. In this book, former State Department officer John Marks tells the explosive story of the CIA's highly secret program of experiments in mind control. His curiosity first aroused by information on a puzzling suicide. Marks worked from thousands of pages of newly released documents as well as interviews and behavioral science studies, producing a book that 'accomplished what two Senate committees could not' (Senator Edward Kennedy).


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A 'Manchurian Candidate' is an unwitting assassin brainwashed and programmed to kill. In this book, former State Department officer John Marks tells the explosive story of the CIA's highly secret program of experiments in mind control. His curiosity first aroused by information on a puzzling suicide. Marks worked from thousands of pages of newly released documents as well A 'Manchurian Candidate' is an unwitting assassin brainwashed and programmed to kill. In this book, former State Department officer John Marks tells the explosive story of the CIA's highly secret program of experiments in mind control. His curiosity first aroused by information on a puzzling suicide. Marks worked from thousands of pages of newly released documents as well as interviews and behavioral science studies, producing a book that 'accomplished what two Senate committees could not' (Senator Edward Kennedy).

30 review for The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA & Mind Control

  1. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    This is a hilarious and surprisingly thoughtful account of the CIA's attempts to control people's mind using LSD, various other psychedelics, and crazy shit like hypnotism. Marks was able to complete the book after unwavering determination (and a team of lawyers) that helped him get a bunch of stuff (the stuff that those involved hadn't destroyed) declassified and scads of interviews with those willing, to fill in the blanks. What emerges is a zany story of CIA agents trick-tripping their collea This is a hilarious and surprisingly thoughtful account of the CIA's attempts to control people's mind using LSD, various other psychedelics, and crazy shit like hypnotism. Marks was able to complete the book after unwavering determination (and a team of lawyers) that helped him get a bunch of stuff (the stuff that those involved hadn't destroyed) declassified and scads of interviews with those willing, to fill in the blanks. What emerges is a zany story of CIA agents trick-tripping their colleagues with acid, volunteering themselves as guinea pigs, and how grant-greedy academia served the Agency for years. The last is the saddest part: psychiatric/psychological academics agreeing to go along with this insane shit to get funding. It will definitely change your view of the academic world, which is little changed, just replace "terror" with "mind control" and you get basically the same thing. Anyway, this book is a delightful read, with accounts and anecdotes of all the Agency's drug shenanigans and their subsequent exposure.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    John Marks coauthored The CIA & the Cult of Intelligence with Victor Marchetti after working as a Senate aide and a State Department official. His publishing credentials are primarily as a journalist. His writing style is clear as are his methods of documentation. The Search for the Manchurian Candidate appears to be his second book. I cannot recommend it too much. Since the claims, however well-documented, that agencies of the U.S. government systematically hurt citizens and break laws, both dom John Marks coauthored The CIA & the Cult of Intelligence with Victor Marchetti after working as a Senate aide and a State Department official. His publishing credentials are primarily as a journalist. His writing style is clear as are his methods of documentation. The Search for the Manchurian Candidate appears to be his second book. I cannot recommend it too much. Since the claims, however well-documented, that agencies of the U.S. government systematically hurt citizens and break laws, both domestic and international, in their pursuit of power and control are so repugnant as to be hard to absorb, I suggest one read this book and several of the others about the CIA's MKULTRA: Black, David '98 Acid: The Secret History of LSD. London: Vision 1901250113 Bowart, W.H. '78 Operation Mind Control: Our Secret Governments's War Against Its Own People. NY: Dell 0440167558 Camper, Frank '97 The Mk/Ultra Secret. Savannah: Christopher Scott Publishing 1889149020 Collins, Anne '88/'98 In the Sleep Room: The Story of CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada. Toronto: Key Porter Books 1550139320 Douglass, Joseph '02 Betrayed. 1st Books Library, 492 140330131X Douglass, Joseph '99 Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America & the West. Edward Harle, 178 1899798048 Fahey, Todd '96 Wisdom's Maw. Far Gone Books, 224 0965183904 Lee, Martin; Shlain, Bruce '85 Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the 60s & Beyond. NY: Grove Press 0802130623 McCoy, Alfred '06 A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror. Metropolitan Books, 21 sqq 0805080414 Ranelagh, John '88 The Agency: The Rise & Decline of the CIA. Sceptre, 208-10 0340412305 Ronson, Jon '04 The Men Who Stare at Goats. Picador 0330375482 Stevens, Jay '87 Storming Heaven: LSD & The American Dream. NY: Grove Press 0802135870 Thomas, Gordon '89 Journey into Madness: The True Story of Secret CIA Mind Control & Medical Abuse. NY: Bantam 0553284134 Vankin, Jonathan; Whalin, John '04 80 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time. Citadel Press 0806525312. Ch. 1, "CIAcid Drop"

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brigitte

    Read this, and embarking on a bunch of other CIA- in-the-1950s books for a project I'm working on. Without a doubt, I am now on a list somewhere. In fact, "they're" probably reading this right now. They do that, you know. Read stuff, and secretly record you, and slip things into your water and your air. Ha ha ha. No I'm just kidding. They don't do that. Oh look, there's someone at the door. A nice man in a dark suit. I'll just be right back. Read this, and embarking on a bunch of other CIA- in-the-1950s books for a project I'm working on. Without a doubt, I am now on a list somewhere. In fact, "they're" probably reading this right now. They do that, you know. Read stuff, and secretly record you, and slip things into your water and your air. Ha ha ha. No I'm just kidding. They don't do that. Oh look, there's someone at the door. A nice man in a dark suit. I'll just be right back.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Pearson

    I read this little known and really important book many years ago. It is a truly chilling expose of some of the CIA's horrendously cruel and secret brainwashing experiments that were conducted on many dozens of innocent male and female patients at a major mental institute. The CIA's senior contracting psychiatrist at this mental hospital used powerful drugs such as LSD and intense electroshocks on the brains of helpless patients to see if he could completely erase their identities and long term I read this little known and really important book many years ago. It is a truly chilling expose of some of the CIA's horrendously cruel and secret brainwashing experiments that were conducted on many dozens of innocent male and female patients at a major mental institute. The CIA's senior contracting psychiatrist at this mental hospital used powerful drugs such as LSD and intense electroshocks on the brains of helpless patients to see if he could completely erase their identities and long term memories. The information set forth in the Search for the Manchurian Candidate is based entirely on the lengthy senate hearings into the illegal actions of the CIA. Everything that was stated in this book was sourced from absolutely verifiable data.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Fascinating and bizarre at once. Marks digs into the CIA's mid-20th century experiments with drugs, hypnosis, and other dubious methods to find a way to control minds in a detailed, at times seemingly stranger than fiction, account. One for the "you can't make this shit up" shelf. Fascinating and bizarre at once. Marks digs into the CIA's mid-20th century experiments with drugs, hypnosis, and other dubious methods to find a way to control minds in a detailed, at times seemingly stranger than fiction, account. One for the "you can't make this shit up" shelf.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Saunders

    Groundbreaking, if dated work exploring the origins of Project MKULTRA, the CIA's efforts at developing mind control and psychological manipulation techniques. Marks traces the program from its origins in World War II (part of a grab-bag of OSS efforts at chemical and psychological warfare) to its intensification amidst the brainwashing hysteria of the early Cold War. Marks details the famous cases of Agency malfeasance, from the use of LSD and other mind-altering drugs, often on unwitting subje Groundbreaking, if dated work exploring the origins of Project MKULTRA, the CIA's efforts at developing mind control and psychological manipulation techniques. Marks traces the program from its origins in World War II (part of a grab-bag of OSS efforts at chemical and psychological warfare) to its intensification amidst the brainwashing hysteria of the early Cold War. Marks details the famous cases of Agency malfeasance, from the use of LSD and other mind-altering drugs, often on unwitting subjects, to the heinous "de-patterning" experiments by Dr. Ewen Cameron in Montreal. Writing in the late '70s, Marks had only limited access to government files declassified through the Church Committee's investigations and limited FOIA requests; it can't be considered definitive for that reason. It also seems, at times, that Marks overstates the degree to which "mind control," per se, was the goal of the Agency's experiments, which makes the stories more outlandish (which has fueled a million conspiracy theories) and perhaps easier to ridicule or dismiss. More recent authors show that MKULTRA's more heinous activities (especially Cameron's experiments) have been used not to create "Manchurian Candidates" but as psychological torture for interrogating and breaking down prisoners, whether Soviet spies in the Cold War or terrorist suspects more recently - which, if anything, makes them even more disturbing. Until a more definitive, updated work on the subject appears, though, Marks' book remains worth reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jordon

    This book may leave you with the unsettling feeling that not everything is as it has seemed in the world. Humanity has made it into outer space and we've also made huge inroads into controlling inner space. If you're one of those people who doesn't want to be controlled, then you have to educate yourself on what can potentially be done to control you. Reading this book is a good step in that direction. This book may leave you with the unsettling feeling that not everything is as it has seemed in the world. Humanity has made it into outer space and we've also made huge inroads into controlling inner space. If you're one of those people who doesn't want to be controlled, then you have to educate yourself on what can potentially be done to control you. Reading this book is a good step in that direction.

  8. 4 out of 5

    AC

    Both this book, and Journey Into Madness, have strengths and weaknesses -- this one is more solid, but Journey is a bit more vivid. The solution to the "Woodward" riddle is, as I suspected, on pp. 136-140. Both can be read in a day or two. Both this book, and Journey Into Madness, have strengths and weaknesses -- this one is more solid, but Journey is a bit more vivid. The solution to the "Woodward" riddle is, as I suspected, on pp. 136-140. Both can be read in a day or two.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Josh Ellis

    The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, by John D. Marks, is a fascinating (albeit scary and disturbing) look into some of the bad behavior of the CIA. Marks documents how the CIA tested various types of mind control, truth serums, and methods for creating "perfect sleeper agents" whose personalities could be flipped back and forth like flipping a light switch. Yes, I know that it sounds like a massive paranoid conspiracy theory, but Marks has the official CIA documents to show that these progr The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, by John D. Marks, is a fascinating (albeit scary and disturbing) look into some of the bad behavior of the CIA. Marks documents how the CIA tested various types of mind control, truth serums, and methods for creating "perfect sleeper agents" whose personalities could be flipped back and forth like flipping a light switch. Yes, I know that it sounds like a massive paranoid conspiracy theory, but Marks has the official CIA documents to show that these programs actually existed. The most famous of these programs was called MK/ULTRA, but others also existed (MK/NAOMI, Artichoke, etc.), and some disturbing things were done under their aegis. All in all, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate is an amazing read. Even though the subject matter is on the disturbing side, it is important to know about and keep in mind (pun not intended). This is what happens when National Security trumps all else, including humanity. 7 out of 5 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    S.P. Aruna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is THE FIRST book published on the subject, and kudos to the author for his struggle in getting it out. If you consider that all the documents were destroyed on order of then CIA director Helms and the only thing they forgot was a box of receipts and invoices (probably didn't give that one much thought) and that Marks went on a detective hunt and traced them back to their nefarious sources (mad, inhuman professors and researchers) then this book is an achievement in investigative skill and This is THE FIRST book published on the subject, and kudos to the author for his struggle in getting it out. If you consider that all the documents were destroyed on order of then CIA director Helms and the only thing they forgot was a box of receipts and invoices (probably didn't give that one much thought) and that Marks went on a detective hunt and traced them back to their nefarious sources (mad, inhuman professors and researchers) then this book is an achievement in investigative skill and persistence. I only gave it 4 stars because the anecdotal dribble (filler) made me a bit nauseous - who the F cares that Sidney Gottleib, one of the chief architects of the mind control program, raised pedigree goats on his farm - Fuck him!

  11. 4 out of 5

    T. Thomas

    John Marks gives a compelling account of the inside workings of the CIA. His book gives the reader the ability to understand how and why the CIA of the 50's, 60's and 70's did what they did, although much of their tactics were questionable, but probably necessary. Whether or not you agree with what the CIA did, you won't want to put this book down. Some recent movies that have been made seem to mimic much of what was written in this book. A very interesting read for anyone who wants to know more John Marks gives a compelling account of the inside workings of the CIA. His book gives the reader the ability to understand how and why the CIA of the 50's, 60's and 70's did what they did, although much of their tactics were questionable, but probably necessary. Whether or not you agree with what the CIA did, you won't want to put this book down. Some recent movies that have been made seem to mimic much of what was written in this book. A very interesting read for anyone who wants to know more about one of the most secret organizations in our government.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Doyle

    Just started this for a project I'm working on -- and yes, this is legit, not some crap from Alex Jones. The author used to work for the State Department and based his writing on a huge document uncovered from the CIA around 1975. Those familiar with MK Ultra and allathat will know what this is about. This is essentially the source for those reports. Just started this for a project I'm working on -- and yes, this is legit, not some crap from Alex Jones. The author used to work for the State Department and based his writing on a huge document uncovered from the CIA around 1975. Those familiar with MK Ultra and allathat will know what this is about. This is essentially the source for those reports.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Amazing. If you're a fan of history, government, and mass mind-control, then this book is definitely one for your collection. Written by former CIA agent, this overview of declassified documents from spanning the beginning of mass mind-control to more modern techniques is at once as academic as it is readable. Amazing. If you're a fan of history, government, and mass mind-control, then this book is definitely one for your collection. Written by former CIA agent, this overview of declassified documents from spanning the beginning of mass mind-control to more modern techniques is at once as academic as it is readable.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Burton

    For those unaware of the CIA's experiments in mind control, this is a good basic overview. There are newer books with a less academic and, one might say, careful tone that better express the true horror of what was done to helpless people without their knowledge by arrogant "scientists" for whom they were nothing but useful tools. For those unaware of the CIA's experiments in mind control, this is a good basic overview. There are newer books with a less academic and, one might say, careful tone that better express the true horror of what was done to helpless people without their knowledge by arrogant "scientists" for whom they were nothing but useful tools.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Such an interesting topic…but such dry writing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mmmjay

    It is informative and scary. This book has been quoted by many authors over the years. It was true back in the day, and more so now.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Valiant Thor

    An excellent account of the information gleaned from the thousands of MK Ultra documents that escaped Dick Helms' destruction order. Well written, well researched, and informative. The main weakness of the book is the author's conclusion that the CIA failed in their mind control efforts, with failure defined as the CIA's inability to find a drug or technique that would give them control over a person's mind that would work on everyone every time. It may be true the CIA failed by this definition An excellent account of the information gleaned from the thousands of MK Ultra documents that escaped Dick Helms' destruction order. Well written, well researched, and informative. The main weakness of the book is the author's conclusion that the CIA failed in their mind control efforts, with failure defined as the CIA's inability to find a drug or technique that would give them control over a person's mind that would work on everyone every time. It may be true the CIA failed by this definition (at least at the time of writing), but subsequent books, such as Cathy O'Brien's book, "Trance Formation of America" and Brice Taylor's book, "Thanks For the Memories" demonstrate conclusively that the CIA & co. succeeded far beyond what one would imagine based on John Marks' book, which looks awfully naive after reading O'Brien and Taylor.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Travis Heermann

    This book was somewhat of a disappointment. I was expecting earth-shattering revelations about mind control, sleeper agents, and such, but the actions described in this book epitomize the phrase "the banality of evil." Let's drug the hell out of people and try to make them do what we want. The willingness of a handful of men to perform sometimes shocking experiments, over and over again, despite a lack of concrete results, speaks more about the morality of those involved than it does about the r This book was somewhat of a disappointment. I was expecting earth-shattering revelations about mind control, sleeper agents, and such, but the actions described in this book epitomize the phrase "the banality of evil." Let's drug the hell out of people and try to make them do what we want. The willingness of a handful of men to perform sometimes shocking experiments, over and over again, despite a lack of concrete results, speaks more about the morality of those involved than it does about the results of the experiments. Marijuana, LSD, hypnosis, sensory deprivation all seem somewhat tame by today's standards, except that according to the book, all of their efforts were largely unsuccessful.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    A fascinating, albeit disturbing, read about the CIA's illegal human experimentation projects from the 40's through the 70's. (Yes, most of this experimentation takes place AFTER the Nuremberg code). A fascinating, albeit disturbing, read about the CIA's illegal human experimentation projects from the 40's through the 70's. (Yes, most of this experimentation takes place AFTER the Nuremberg code).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book is not as interesting as it sounds- there is no evidence that they have been able to establish mind control, despite much experimentation.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John

    It's amazing how unshocking this book has become in the post John Yoo continuum. But obviously at the time it was amazing. It's amazing how unshocking this book has become in the post John Yoo continuum. But obviously at the time it was amazing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eric Lee

    First published more than 40 years ago, this book tells the unbelievable story of the CIA's experiments with mind control. Some of these even pre-date the founding of the CIA itself. Its forerunner, the OSS, had some rather hare-brained ideas of its own, including some rather bizarre plans to kill or incapacitate the German führer, Adolf Hitler, that involved his vegetable garden. The book's title is a bit of a misnomer, as only a small part of the volume considers ways to hypnotise an assassin. First published more than 40 years ago, this book tells the unbelievable story of the CIA's experiments with mind control. Some of these even pre-date the founding of the CIA itself. Its forerunner, the OSS, had some rather hare-brained ideas of its own, including some rather bizarre plans to kill or incapacitate the German führer, Adolf Hitler, that involved his vegetable garden. The book's title is a bit of a misnomer, as only a small part of the volume considers ways to hypnotise an assassin. The rest of the book is far more mundane, as the CIA looked for new techniques to analyse personalities and especially locate weaknesses in their opponents. But the section on the "Manchurian Candidate" scenario is fascinating. The Agency went so far as to hypnotise one secretary into shooting another (not knowing that the gun was loaded with blanks). Some of its boffins were convinced that the scenario envisaged by author Richard Condon in his fictional account was a real possibility. Part of the reason the CIA looked into this was precisely because of the concern that America's Cold War enemies might well have been considering the same thing. Whether the Soviets or Chinese ever made their own efforts in that field is something that we may never know.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Sessions

    I once saw a guy on the street ranting that the government beams electromagnetic waves into people's heads to influence their behavior. Then I saw a guy in an expensive building teaching that God had a son...who was born of a virgin...and who died and was then resurrected. How bizarre that the gentleman with the stronger case was called the crazy one. Consider the facts in accidentally released documents pertaining to the CIA's Project MKULTRA, a wide-ranging effort to develop means of manipulati I once saw a guy on the street ranting that the government beams electromagnetic waves into people's heads to influence their behavior. Then I saw a guy in an expensive building teaching that God had a son...who was born of a virgin...and who died and was then resurrected. How bizarre that the gentleman with the stronger case was called the crazy one. Consider the facts in accidentally released documents pertaining to the CIA's Project MKULTRA, a wide-ranging effort to develop means of manipulating human behavior. Drugs, hypnosis--and yes, electromagnetic waves--are tested on human subjects, at times without consent, with the aid of the psychiatric profession. The goal is not merely to create better spies and assassins, but to strategically affect the behavior of populations. The Soviets were pursuing similar lines of study, and America didn't want to suffer another alleged gap between communist and capitalist capabilities. Don't dismiss a claim simply because the implications of its truth are uncomfortable. Don't laugh at the ranting guy on the street until you actually have some idea how deep the rabbit hole goes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Whitehead

    I guess ya gotta do what ya have to in order to sell books, but honestly this title misrepresents the contents by at least a little. And that’s a shame, because the book’s actual subject – the history of the CIA’s MKULTRA (and other) flirtations with LSD and so on – is fascinating enough without promising Richard Condon-style intrigue. To be sure, some of the Company’s mind-control experiments flirted with brainwashing, but according to author John Marks’ research the creeps were more interested I guess ya gotta do what ya have to in order to sell books, but honestly this title misrepresents the contents by at least a little. And that’s a shame, because the book’s actual subject – the history of the CIA’s MKULTRA (and other) flirtations with LSD and so on – is fascinating enough without promising Richard Condon-style intrigue. To be sure, some of the Company’s mind-control experiments flirted with brainwashing, but according to author John Marks’ research the creeps were more interested in truth sera than zombie assassins. And lord only knows what the CIA might have done that they didn’t tell anyone about or got into after the book was published in the late 70s. But even without a Raymond Shaw in the offing, the sad tale of government abuse of the behavioral sciences makes for a compelling read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dina

    The books talks about CIA operations MKULTRA and ARTICHOKE (after WWII). Basically, how CIA had sponsored and participated in various mind and behavior control methods on general population, inmates, prostitutes, psych ward patients without their consent or knowledge of the tests. The idea of the experiments was to find means how to control and manipulate human behavior and more precisely human brain. CIA had sponsored or cooperated with major universities and corporations trying to devise metho The books talks about CIA operations MKULTRA and ARTICHOKE (after WWII). Basically, how CIA had sponsored and participated in various mind and behavior control methods on general population, inmates, prostitutes, psych ward patients without their consent or knowledge of the tests. The idea of the experiments was to find means how to control and manipulate human behavior and more precisely human brain. CIA had sponsored or cooperated with major universities and corporations trying to devise methods in deleting memories, creating new memories, remote behavior, inflating LCD and mushrooms, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, electrical shock therapy so on and forth. I believe the research going on till now, and is probably way more advanced.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David

    Chilling investigation and recount of the CIA activities regarding mind control and behavioral sciences research. It feels like going through a sinuous path of information that can get a little tedious at times but that is understandable due to the very nature of the subject involved. Nevertheless, the investigative work and dedication made by the author is great, providing documented and verified sources for almost everything talked about in the book. Yet again you end up getting the feeling th Chilling investigation and recount of the CIA activities regarding mind control and behavioral sciences research. It feels like going through a sinuous path of information that can get a little tedious at times but that is understandable due to the very nature of the subject involved. Nevertheless, the investigative work and dedication made by the author is great, providing documented and verified sources for almost everything talked about in the book. Yet again you end up getting the feeling that you are only reading the tip of the iceberg of all this, as if you'rer only reading what "they" want you to know 😉

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Happe

    Written in the 80s about the CIA's mind control programs between the end of the second world war and the seventies. It's a weird book, very humorous sometimes (it did remind me of 'men that stare at goats' as well as the military liaison officer in 'idiocracy') but things turn towards a darker undertone fast. Much has been done "for the state", no questions asked. It's chilling how the books starts with Nazi-experiments performed in death camps and ends up at medical experiments performed by the Written in the 80s about the CIA's mind control programs between the end of the second world war and the seventies. It's a weird book, very humorous sometimes (it did remind me of 'men that stare at goats' as well as the military liaison officer in 'idiocracy') but things turn towards a darker undertone fast. Much has been done "for the state", no questions asked. It's chilling how the books starts with Nazi-experiments performed in death camps and ends up at medical experiments performed by the CIA in American prisons 20 years (or 50 pages) later. Torture on psychological patients. And more. Didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book, can recommend it after finishing it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nitay

    This is the most ridiculous entirely serious book Ive read. History can be a droll comedy sometimes, and this is a black one. The writing is crystal clear, definitely journalistic, though sometimes digresses into uninteresting diversions with countless names and places - but it’s understandable as it was written as practically contemporary - who did when is much more important when it’s 10 years ago, while 60 years ago we’re only interested in the What. Overall recommended, personally i find mos This is the most ridiculous entirely serious book Ive read. History can be a droll comedy sometimes, and this is a black one. The writing is crystal clear, definitely journalistic, though sometimes digresses into uninteresting diversions with countless names and places - but it’s understandable as it was written as practically contemporary - who did when is much more important when it’s 10 years ago, while 60 years ago we’re only interested in the What. Overall recommended, personally i find most history literature dense with names, but this one was a blast.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    This is a really interesting read. I think most people have a sort of hazy idea of the questionable things the US government gets involved in but it still feels a bit shocking to read a summary of some of those things based on government documents (very 1984 esque). In general I liked the book, but it was a bit dry at some points and there was a lot of detail that I imagine is necessary for journalistic integrity but also was easy to get lost in. Overall it left me feeling a weird mix of scared This is a really interesting read. I think most people have a sort of hazy idea of the questionable things the US government gets involved in but it still feels a bit shocking to read a summary of some of those things based on government documents (very 1984 esque). In general I liked the book, but it was a bit dry at some points and there was a lot of detail that I imagine is necessary for journalistic integrity but also was easy to get lost in. Overall it left me feeling a weird mix of scared of what they are getting into now, angry at the incestuous, nepotistic boys club that was and in a lot of ways still is the US government, and apathetic because it feels like there is nothing that can be done about it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily Carlin

    For a book about mind control, boy did mine wander while reading this. So much good info but my brain simply could not latch on. Particularly interesting tidbits for the archives: - CIA funding of alternative models / schools of thought was in no small part responsible for the shift away from behaviorism in psychology (or at least a widening of the umbrella / expanding the field beyond all behaviorism all the time). - the CIA pretty much singlehandedly brought psychedelics to the US

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