Author: Peter Loewenberg
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In Fantasy and Reality in History, Peter Loewenberg 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. First examining early twentieth century Zürich and the first practitioners of psychoanalysis--Freud, C.G. Jung, Karl Abraham, and others--to establish the discipline's understanding of the unconscious and how it functions, Loewenberg then explores the tensions in the lives and politics of modern political leaders. The great British Liberal Prime Minister Walther Rathenau, and the Russian fascist demagogue Vladimir Zhirinovsky are among those studied. In each of these interconnected essays, Fantasy and Reality in History makes readily evident the advantages, and unique insights, that psychoanalytical techniques can provide in the examination of history. Loewenberg's blend of clinical and historico-political methods not only produces new exciting research, but demonstrates how it is done.