Robert Jay Lifton

A pioneer in the field of psychohistory, Robert Jay Lifton is a psychiatrist and author best known for his studies of the psychological causes and effects of war and political violence and for his theory of thought reform and cult behavior. He has written over twenty books, including many seminal works in the field such as the National Book Award–winning Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima, Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning The Nazi Doctors, National Book Award–nominated Home from the War, as well as The Climate Swerve, Losing Reality, and Surviving Our Catastrophes (all from The New Press). He has taught at Yale University, Harvard University, and the City University of New York. He lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

News and Reviews

The New Yorker

Read an interview with author Robert Jay Lifton about how to maintain hope in an age of catastrophe in The New Yorker.


Read an interview with Robert Jay Lifton and Goats and Soda, NPR's global health and development blog, about Surviving Our Catastrophes.

Washington Post

Read a review of Surviving Our Catastrophes in the Washington Post.

Spirituality & Practice

Named One of the Best Spiritual Books of 2019 by Spirituality & Practice


Books by Robert Jay Lifton

The Climate Swerve
Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival

Robert Jay Lifton

Losing Reality
On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry

Robert Jay Lifton

Surviving Our Catastrophes
Resilience and Renewal from Hiroshima to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Robert Jay Lifton