How can I find articles about MKUltra Project?

asked Mar 1, 2014 by sahar

1 Answer

I'm going to assume you could use books and articles—books will often help you find articles if you look in the footnotes. If you search our databases using OneSearch, which you can find on the databases page or using the search box at the library home page, a search for mkultra only turns up a few good sources, but if you look at a few of them you get some tips that lead you further.


The first hit is what we might call a primary source: congressional testimony on Project MKULTRA. I think this is something you should definitely look at, although it's probably not what you were hoping to find right now.


Further down the results list, I see a hit from CQ Researcher, which is often a good place to start: it's called "Mind Control", from an article called "Interrogating the CIA." This article might be useful for the larger context. I searched it for the word MKULTRA and saw that the article cites a book that "chronicles a secret program code named MKUltra." If you look at the footnotes, the name of this book is A question of torture: CIA interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, by Alfred W. McCoy. We have this book in our library. Again, if you go to that book, you may find references to articles on the topic.


Back to OneSearch, you will get more relevant results if you apply a trick that is good to know about in all EBSCO databases: expand your search to the full text of the articles and ebooks being searched. To do this, check the box labeled "Also search in the full text" that you will see if you click "Show more" on the left-hand side of results pages, or on the Advanced Search screen.

Click Show More, then click Also search within the full text


At this point you can limit to Academic Journals on the left-hand side of the screen and find articles that mention MKULTRA. Be sure to read the abstract to figure out which might be useful.


In addition, you'll find many ebooks that mention MKUltra that contain further leads. I found a mention in one ebook (using the "Most relevant pages" feature) of what one scholar called the "best study" on the topic, The search for the "Manchurian candidate": the CIA and mind control, by John Marks. We have this book too, though it's at ARC, so you'll need to request it.

The best study of MKULTRA is John Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The Story of the CIA's Secret Efforts to Control Human Behavior (London, 1979).


So you've got two good books on the topic, and you have a strategy for catching lots of academic journal articles that discuss MKULTRA to at least some degree. Hope that helps!

answered Mar 3, 2014 by JeffK

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