The Captive Mind, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Written in Paris in the early 1950s, this book created instant controversy in its analysis of modern society that had allowed itself to be hypnotized by socio-political doctrines, and to accept totalitarian terror on the strength of a hypothetical future.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Political science & theory
  • ISBN: 9780141186764



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Looking back, it's hard to imagine anyone supporting the Communist rule of Eastern Europe, and yet, at the time, there was a lot of support for Russia amongst Western Europe's intelligentsia. If you ever had a feeling of fondness towards the hammer and sickle, then this book will surely rid you of it.Milosz, a Polish poet and novelist, lived through the harshest periods of the twentieth century, and here explains to the rest of us what life in a Communist regime is really like for the people who have to suffer it.He takes four examples to illustrate his case - four poets and politicians who, for varying reasons, allowed themselves to bend and fall into line inside the Party. Theirs are the saddest stories, the bright lights of a generation needlessly, one would say now, dimmed.Some of Milosz's writing is difficult to work through without a firm grounding in the vernacular of the Communist theory, so be warned. Keep a dictionary to hand, or better yet, an encyclopedia, but if you work through to the end, you will be pleased you did.