Inventing the Enemy uses stories of personal relationships to explore the behavior of ordinary people during Stalin's terror. Communist Party leaders targeted specific groups for arrest, but also strongly encouraged ordinary citizens and party members to "unmask the hidden enemy." People responded by flooding the secret police and local authorities with accusations. By 1937, every work place was convulsed by hyper-vigilance, intense suspicion, and the hunt for hidden enemies. Spouses, coworkers, friends, and relatives disavowed and denounced each other. People confronted hideous dilemmas. Forced to lie to protect loved ones, they struggled to reconcile political imperatives and personal loyalties. Work places were turned into snake pits. The strategies that people used to protect themselves - naming names, preemptive denunciations, and shifting blame - all helped to spread the terror. Inventing the Enemy , a history of the terror in five Moscow factories, explores personal relationships and individual behavior within a pervasive political culture of "enemy hunting."