Hardback
May 21, 2018
9781625343130
English
296
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.28 Pounds (US)
$90.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
May 21, 2018
9781625343253
English
296
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$30.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Clearer Than Truth

The Polygraph and the American Cold War

A person strapped to a polygraph machine. Nervous eyes, sweaty brow, the needle trembling up and down. Few images are more evocative of Cold War paranoia.

In this first comprehensive history of the polygraph as a tool and symbol of American Cold War policies, John Philipp Baesler tells the story of a technology with weak scientific credentials that was nevertheless celebrated as a device that could expose both internal and external enemies. Considered the go-to technology to test agents' and employees' loyalty, the polygraph's true power was to expose deep ideological and political fault lines. While advocates praised it as America's hard-nosed yet fair answer to communist brainwashing, critics claimed that its use undermined the very values of justice, equality, and the presumption of innocence for which the nation stood.

Clearer Than Truth demonstrates that what began as quick-fix technology promising a precise test of honesty and allegiance eventually came to embody tensions in American Cold War culture between security and freedom, concerns that reach deep into the present day.

About the Author

John Philipp Baesler is associate professor of history at Saginaw Valley State University.

Review

"Baesler's exploration of the polygraph as a quintessential Cold War technology offers a fresh addition to the vast literature on U.S. culture and politics of the postwar era."—Susan L. Carruthers, author of Cold War Captives: Imprisonment, Escape, and Brainwashing

"Clearer Than Truth charts the complex relationship between lie detection technologies and U.S. national security policies during and after the Cold War. Through a wide array of archival source materials, Baesler illuminates the contradictions inherent in the American government's adoption of lie detection instrumentation."—Melissa M. Littlefield, author of The Lying Brain: Lie Detection in Science and Science Fiction

University of Massachusetts Press
Culture, Politics, and the Cold War

9781625343130 : clearer-than-truth-baesler
Hardback
296 Pages
$90.00 USD
9781625343253 : clearer-than-truth-baesler
Paperback / softback
296 Pages
$30.95 USD

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