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Kogan, I. (2002). International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma. By Yael Danieli. New York: Plenum Publishing Corporation, 1998.. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 4(1):93-97.

(2002). Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 4(1):93-97

International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma. By Yael Danieli. New York: Plenum Publishing Corporation, 1998.

Review by:
Ilany Kogan

At the closing of the century, which witnessed an eruption of destruction unsurpassed in human history, trauma research provides a key for a sociopolitical understanding of violence. The huge manmade disasters such as war and genocide, racial persecution, and ethnic cleansing, have led to massive accumulation of extreme trauma. On a smaller scale, violence within the family, sexual abuse, and social violence have marked their victims with traumatic scars.

The International Handbook for the Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma, is the first endeavor to examine the multigenerational effects of trauma across various victim/survivor populations around the world from different disciplinary perspectives.

My own experiences in the field of trauma research have given me a better appreciation of the difficulties involved in the preparation of such a handbook. In 1996, I became a member of the International Study Group for Trauma, Violence, and Genocide (founded in Koln, Germany). The Study Group was an international organization of professional people coming from different disciplines, whose objective was the coordination of worldwide research on the multigenerational effects of trauma. Our awareness that traumatization is a complex phenomenon, which exceeds the limits of a single scientific discipline, lead us to the conclusion that only interdisciplinary discourse between related fields—psychology, psychoanalysis, history, literature, and sociology—can lead to an integrated approach, which may enable an understanding of trauma as being the signature of modern age.

The difficulties that we encountered forced us to be more modest in our endeavors. In addition to the complex group dynamics that normally evolve in a group of people working together, we had to cope with the Babylon of professional languages, conceptualizations, and weltanschauungen that emerged from different approaches and methodologies.

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