The captive mind

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Vintage International, 1981 - Fiction - 251 pages
47 Reviews
The best known prose work by the winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature examines the moral and intellectual conflicts faced by men and women living under totalitarianism of the left or right.

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I enjoyed the writing in this book immensely. - Goodreads
A bit difficult to read. - Goodreads
His writing is incisive and beautiful. - Goodreads
I just could not stand the authors writing. - Goodreads
However, his English writing is fantastic. - Goodreads
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This is a book that was written in 1953 that reminds us how important it is to retain and cherish our intellectual freedom. Milosov, in this book which is not always easy to read – but is worthwhile persevering, points out that it is too easy to lose our intellectual independence and become slaves to a set of ideas like Stalinism. While not suggesting – thankfully – that we are living in anything like a Stalinist regime in modern Scotland this is an excellent book to help you appreciate just how easy it is to conform to the latest educational/political consensus without putting too much thought into the issue yourself. 

Review: The Captive Mind

User Review  - Daniel - Goodreads

If you want a more nuanced account of life in an ostensibly socialist state, Milosz is your man. It avoids all the truisms of a liberal critique of socialism, without glossing over the unavoidable cruelty of Poland's capitalist regime. Read full review


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About the author (1981)

Czeslaw Milosz was born in 1911 in Szetejnie, Lithuania. He survived World War II in Warsaw, publishing in the underground press, after which he was stationed in New York, Washington, and Paris as a cultural attachE from Poland. He defected to France in 1951, and in 1960 he accepted a position at the University of California at Berkeley. Although his writing was banned in Poland, he was nevertheless awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 2004 in KrakOw.