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Psychoanalysis in the Age of Totalitarianism

Ffytche, Matt

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ISBN 10: 1138793884 / ISBN 13: 9781138793880
Published by Routledge 1
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: Psychoanalysis in the Age of Totalitarianism

Publisher: Routledge 1

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

Psychoanalysis in the Age of Totalitarianism provides rich new insights into the history of political thought and clinical knowledge. In these chapters, internationally renowned historians and cultural theorists discuss landmark debates about the uses and abuses of ‘the talking cure’ and map the diverse psychologies and therapeutic practices that have featured in and against tyrannical, modern regimes.

These essays show both how the Freudian movement responded to and was transformed by the rise of fascism and communism, the Second World War, and the Cold War, and how powerful new ideas about aggression, destructiveness, control, obedience and psychological freedom were taken up in the investigation of politics. They identify important intersections between clinical debate, political analysis, and theories of minds and groups, and trace influential ideas about totalitarianism that took root in modern culture after 1918, and still resonate in the twenty-first century. At the same time, they suggest how the emergent discourses of ‘totalitarian’ society were permeated by visions of the unconscious.

Topics include: the psychoanalytic theorizations of anti-Semitism; the psychological origins and impact of Nazism; the post-war struggle to rebuild liberal democracy; state-funded experiments in mind control in Cold War America; coercive ‘re-education’ programmes in Eastern Europe, and the role of psychoanalysis in the politics of decolonization. A concluding trio of chapters argues, in various ways, for the continuing relevance of psychoanalysis, and of these mid-century debates over the psychology of power, submission and freedom in modern mass society.

Psychoanalysis in the Age of Totalitarianism will prove compelling for both specialists and readers with a general interest in modern psychology, politics, culture and society, and in psychoanalysis. The material is relevant for academics and post-graduate students in the human, social and political sciences, the clinical professions, the historical profession and the humanities more widely.

About the Author:

Matt ffytche is Director of the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex, and Editor of Psychoanalysis and History. He is an Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society and has written widely on Freud and American neo-conservatism, psychoanalysis and mid-twentieth century social science, and the relation between psychoanalysis and literature.

Daniel Pick is a psychoanalyst and historian. He is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society and of the Royal Historical Society. An editor of History Workshop Journal, he is also a member of the editorial board of the New Library of Psychoanalysis, as well as the advisory boards of Psychoanalysis and History and Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture.

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