Life History and the Historical Moment

Life History and the Historical Moment

Life History and the Historical Moment

Life History and the Historical Moment

Excerpt

This book is made up of reflections offered to diverse gatherings during a decade of academic teaching and traveling. The main essay in each section was first presented at one of the symposia convoked by Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Here men and women from a variety of fields come together to work on one theme. It was my double task to clarify for the participants from other fields something of the special nature of psychoanalysis and, thus, of the kind of light it could throw on the main theme, and yet also to ask myself and those conversant with my field what we may yet have to investigate when confronted with such new tasks. Thus, when representatives of the natural and the social sciences discussed the emergence of innovative concepts in their or their colleagues' careers, I was asked to reflect on the origin in my life of the concept of identity crisis. When historians discussed the nature of charismatic leadership, I reflected on my ongoing studies of Gandhi's emergence as a leader. And in a timely disputation on The Embattled University, I spoke of the students' struggle for inner liberation.

But each section also contains communications of a more diverse nature. My autobiographic reflections are followed by two book reviews of Freud's posthumous works. The section on Gandhi is concluded with an address given to students in South Africa where Gandhi's leadership began. In the section on modern liberation, there is a response to a former student who had . . .

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