The War of Nerves: Inside the Cold War Mind

The War of Nerves: Inside the Cold War Mind

by Martin Sixsmith
The War of Nerves: Inside the Cold War Mind

The War of Nerves: Inside the Cold War Mind

by Martin Sixsmith


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A major new history of the Cold War that explores the conflict through the minds of the people who lived through it.

More than any other conflict, the Cold War was fought on the battlefield of the human mind. And, nearly thirty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, its legacy still endures—not only in our politics, but in our own thoughts and fears.

Drawing on a vast array of untapped archives and unseen sources, Martin Sixsmith vividly recreates the tensions and paranoia of the Cold War, framing it for the first time from a psychological perspective. Revisiting towering, unique personalities like Khrushchev, Kennedy, and Nixon, as well as the lives of the unknown millions who were caught up in the conflict, this is a gripping narrative of the paranoia of the Cold War—and in today's uncertain times, this story is more resonant than ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781639361816
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 07/05/2022
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 1,047,800
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Martin Sixsmith studied Russian at Oxford, Harvard, the Sorbonne, and in St Petersburg. He witnessed the end of the Cold War first-hand, reporting for the BBC from Moscow during the presidencies of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. He is the author of two novels and several works of non-fiction, including Philomena (a New York Times bestseller) and Russia: A 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East. Martin lives in London.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Individual or Collective - Two National Psyches 1

2 Two Nations; Two Missions 7

3 Kissing Stalin's Bum 13

4 Yalta and the Psychology of Betrayal 26

5 Potsdam and Paranoia 44

6 Stalin the Neurotic 56

7 The Long Telegrams 66

8 Threats and Mind Readers 86

9 War by Inadvertence 102

10 Trouble among Socialist Friends 118

11 Stalin's Ghost - Memory, Fear and the Monster from the Grave 135

12 A Psychological Vacuum 147

13 The Secret Speech and the Psychology of the Crowd 161

14 Psychological Warfare 171

15 McCarthyism and Witch-Hunts 186

16 Brainwashing 201

17 Sputnik and the Psychology of Fear 216

18 The Kitchen: Competing Utopias 232

19 Bricks in the Wall 248

20 The Space Race 266

21 Brinkmanship 288

22 Duck and Cover 307

23 Disinformation 332

24 Double Agents, Double Dealing, Doublethink 351

25 Inventing the Enemy in Books and Film 369

26 Art, Posters and Jokes 387

27 Music 403

28 Religion 422

29 Falling Dominoes 436

30 They Took Away Your Mind - Control through Silence 450

31 The Psychology of the Front Line 466

32 The Madman and Detente 482

33 Reagan's Epiphany 495

34 The Wall Torn Down 515

35 The Evil Empire is No More 526

36 The Misuses of Memory 540

Notes and Selected Bibliography 555

Illustration Credits 556

Index 558

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