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Paperback (January 1982)
Creative Roots Pub; ISBN:
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The basic principles of psychohistory, the study of historical motivation.
Beginning with the author's famous study of "The Evolution of Childhood"
and continuing through such studies as "Historical Group-Fantasies" and
"The Fetal Origins of History," this pioneering book has become the standard
text for most psychohistory courses around the world.
From the Back Cover
"Brilliant...bold...challenging...heavily documented" - New York Review
of Books; "Confronting, ambitious, provocative and comprehensive" - The
Historian; "Authoritative, original...highly recommended" - Choice; "An
extraordinary book...it would be a tragedy if it were confined to the classroom."
- Boston Globe
About the Author
Lloyd deMause is Director of The Institute for Psychohistory, Editor
of The Journal of Psychohistory and President of the International Psychohistorical
Excerpted from Foundations of Psychohistory by Lloyd Demause. Copyright
© 1982. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved:
"The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently
begun to awaken. The further back in history one goes, the lower the level
of child care, and the more likely children are to be killed, abandoned,
beaten, terrorized, and sexually abused.
"That this pattern has not previously been noticed by historians
is because serious history has long been considered a record of public
not private events. Historians have concentrated so much on the noisy sandbaox
of history, with its fantastic castles and magnificent battles, that they
have generlly ignored what is going on in the homes around the playground.
And where historians usually look to the sandbox battles of yesterday for
the causes of those of today, we instead ask how each generation of parents
and children creates those issues which are later acted out in the arena
of public life."
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email@example.com (Jim Sturges) from Dallas, Texas , August 22, 1999
Indispensable Analysis of Human Motivations in Large Groups
Psychohistory might be viewed as state-of-the-art psychoanalysis extended
to large groups, but it goes far beyond the clinical model of psychoanalysis,
into the everyday content of human emotions such as religion, the arts,
nations and economic systems.
"Foundations of Psychohistory" is very accessible without specialized
training, but is also deeply rewarding to specialists and scholars who
can tolerate the presentation of a new paradigm for the studies of both
psychology and history.
The psychodynamic theories of Lloyd deMause are rooted in modern
trauma theory, and to a lesser degree in the object relations of Klein,
Bion and Fairbairn; however, he uses his exhaustive studies of group fantasy
to achieve major strides beyond these. In the opinion of this reviewer,
he has written the book that defines the starting point for the depth psychology
of the 21st century.
In psychoanalysis, the relationships of humans with their groups,
cultures and (often shared) modes of childhood experience are virtually
ignored. Lloyd deMause brilliantly analyzes the methods whereby large groups
achieve powerful emotional "consensus" for actions by reference to these
highly charged childhood and infantile emotional experiences.
This book is equally indispensable for those interested in the "why"
of history, and those interested in the nature of human experience. By
contrast, mainstream psychoanalysis tends to ignore the profound importance
of group experiences (outside the oedipal family, or "objects of attachment"),
while other social sciences tend to ignore the fact that a society consists
of a group of individuals. "Foundations of Psychohistory" is a first, but
giant, step towards a vastly improved understanding of the human condition.
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