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Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysisby Eli Zaretsky
Synopses & Reviews
This hugely amibitious book is the first to synthesize the vast international history and heritage of psychoanalysis and the psychoanalytic idea — from its origins in the Enlightenment to the golden age of analysis through the twentieth century — and to place it in its social, cultural, and economic context.
Eli Zaretsky shows how Freud's teachings set the stage for the modernism of the 1920s and the sexual revolution of the 1960s. He takes psychoanalysis back to its roots and describes its close ties to the second industrial revolution, when Freud replaced the Enlightenment's idea of a rational man with the concept of the unconscious — a switch that, with the advent of the Great War and the theory of anxiety, offered compelling explanations for the horrors of warfare.
Zaretsky shows how psychoanalysis encouraged the idea of an individual life distinct from the family, persuading people to look inward rather than follow a path ordained by custom or birth (Henry Ford inadvertently supported Freud — he encouraged workers to locate their identities not in the family or the workplace, but in consumerism); how psychoanalysis at the turn of the century both hindered and emancipated women, homosexuals, and African Americans; how Freud's theories were welcomed in the United States because they fit with the American emphasis on the individual; and how psychoanalysis led to the birth of other therapies and movements that, in many cases, replaced it.
Secrets of the Soul is a groundbreaking book that details one of the most influential movements of the 20th century.
"A groundbreaking cultural history. Certain to interest — and disquiet — a generation catechized in the Freudian credo." Booklist
"The best book on psychoanalysis and its historical impact. Superbly written and full of wondrous insights. A tremendous accomplishment." Paul Robinson, Standford University
"Pioneering and important." Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, author of Anna Freud: A Biography
"Intelligent and thoroughly well-informed....A history-minded enterprise that analysis badly needs." Peter Gay
"An encompassing and probing work." Judith Butler, University of California at Berkeley
"A must-read for every self-respecting therapist, and an important book for the general reader." Edith Kurzweil, author of The Age of Structuralism
First to synthesize the vast international history and heritage of psychoanalysis, this hugely ambitious book details one of the most influential movements of the 20th century.
About the Author
Eli Zaretsky was born in Brooklyn, New York. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. His book Capitalism, the Family, and Personal Life has been translated into fourteen languages. His articles on the history of the family, psychoanalysis, and modern cultural history have appeared in numerous scholarly journals. Zaretsky is Professor of History in the Graduate Faculty at the New School University in New York City.
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