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Cold War in Psychiatry.

Human Factors, Secret Actors.

by: Robert van Voren
published by: Rodopi
pp: 512
ISBN: 978-90-420-3048-0
price: € 40 / US$ 56

Book's frontpage

For 20 years Soviet psychiatric abuse dominated the agenda of the World Psychiatric Association. It ended only after the Soviet Foreign Ministry intervened. Cold War in Psychiatry tells the full story for the first time and from inside, among others on basis of extensive reports by Stasi and KGB – who were the secret actors, what were the hidden factors?

Based on a wealth of new evidence and documentation as well as interviews with many of the main actors, including leading Western psychiatrists, Soviet dissidents and Soviet and East German key figures, the book describes the issue in all its complexity and puts it in a broader context. In the book opposite sides find common ground and a common understanding of what actually happened.


Table of contents

Leonidas Donskis: Foreword


Part 1: Setting the Stage
Meeting Mel Sabshin
Melvin Sabshin’s Roots
From Russia to the Statue of Liberty
Meeting Jochen Neumann
Growing up in Post-War Germany
Shaken Foundations
Political Turmoil at Tulane University
The Formation of a Communist

Part 2: The Curtain Opens
Origins of Soviet Political Psychiatry
Meeting Ellen Mercer
The Shield and Sword of the Party
Opposition at Home and Abroad
A Secret Actor
The End of the Working Commission

Part 3: Act One
The WPA Becomes Involved 1977-1983
The Soviets Leave the WPA
Another Hidden Factor
Meeting Costas Stefanis
Soviet Actors
Secret Negotiations?
A Professional Career with Political Hurdles
Reporting for the DDR Leadership

Part 4: Act Two
Power Struggle in Moscow
Political Changes at Home
Irritation, Admiration and Disenchantment
Psychiatric Abuse and East-West Politics
The US Visit to the USSR

Part 5: The Final Act

Part 6: The Curtains Close
Siegerjustiz and its consequences
Victors and Losers

Part 7: Conclusion
Lessons Learned. Any Lessons Learned?

Post Scriptum

List of Abbreviations


Index of Names

Index of Subjects



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