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Fantasy and Reality in History

by Peter Loewenberg

  • ISBN: 9780195067637
  • ISBN10: 0195067630

Fantasy and Reality in History

by Peter Loewenberg

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 09/01/1995
  • ISBN: 9780195067637
  • ISBN10: 0195067630
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Description: In Fantasy and Reality in History, Peter Loewenberg, a historian, political psychologist, and psychoanalyst, brings what the discipline of psychoanalysis has learned about human conduct and the irrational to bear on the analysis and writing of history. The result is a remarkable series of studies on individual and social anxiety, racism and nationalism, and crisis management. The first section proposes psychohistorical theoretical and clinical perspectives on Freud, psychoanalysis, social structure, and culture. Loewenberg examines creative group process in early twentieth century Zurich and how the earliest practitioners of psychoanalysis - Freud, C.G. Jung, Karl Abraham, and others - established the discipline's understanding of the unconscious and how it functions. The second section explores the tensions in the lives and politics of modern political leaders. Loewenberg offers case studies including the pornographic sexual politics of the nineteenth-century British Liberal Prime Minister William E. Gladstone, interpretations of the self-sacrifice of the German-Jewish foreign minister Walther Rathenau, the ideas of Austrian President Karl Renner at resolving nationality conflicts, and the primitive psychic splitting of the contemporary Russian fascist demagogue Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The final section interprets manifestations of anxiety in history, and its expression in racism, anti-Judaism, Nazism, and nationalism. In each study, Loewenberg blends clinical and historical-political methods which not only produce new and exciting research, but also demonstrate how a psychoanalytic approach enriches our understanding of history, and how historical and social science perspectives mayinform the resolution of clinical conflicts.
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