“One of the world’s foremost thinkers on why we humans do such awful things to each other.”

—Bill Moyers

Robert Jay Lifton is an American psychiatrist, National Book Award-winning author, and leading public intellectual whose subject has been holocaust, mass violence, and renewal in the 20th and 21st centuries. Lifton has written twenty-four books and edited eight others.

His most recent books are The Climate Swerve: Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival, and Losing Reality: On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry.


“For decades, Robert Jay Lifton’s work on the sources and dangers of inhuman zealotry—brainwashers, mass murderers, religious extremists, political cultists—has been a bulwark of democratic liberalism, a touchstone of public sanity. Now, with this selection of classic passages, in urgent combination with fresh reflections, Lifton has given us precisely what we need to understand, resist, and survive the unmoored chaos of the age of Trump. Lifton’s writing, a long-established treasure, has never mattered more.”

—James Carroll, author of The Cloister

“Robert Jay Lifton’s The Climate Swerve offers original and penetrating insights into the psychological workings of the human mind as it grapples with the largest ethical issue before us—the reality of human-made climate change. Lifton’s lifetime work as a scholar of mass violence and human survival is brought to bear in his brilliant exploration of the problem that challenges every person and nation on the planet. This is a necessary, timely and urgent book.”

—Peter Balakian, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Ozone Journal and Black Dog of Fate