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Danto, E. (2016). A review of Political Freud: A History: by Eli Zaretsky. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2015. 248 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 52(2):352-356.

(2016). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 52(2):352-356

A review of Political Freud: A History: by Eli Zaretsky. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2015. 248 pp.

Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D.

Sigmund Freud rightly anticipated that his theories would challenge our acquiescence to repressive social norms. He never forgot the outrage at his 1896 lecture to the Vienna Neurological Society. Under Richard Krafft-Ebing's presidency,

the void which formed itself around me... the hints that were conveyed to me, made me realize that assertions on the role of sexuality... cannot count upon meeting with the same kind of treatment as other communications. I understood that from now on I was one of those who have disturbed the sleep of the world… and that I could not reckon upon tolerance. (Freud, 1914/1957b)

Two decades and one world war later, having shaken our status quo, Freud called upon “the conscience of society [to] awake” (Freud, 1918/1955).

Eli Zaretsky's new book shows us just how the conscience of society woke up. A professor of history at the New School for Social Research and investigative social critic, Zaretsky has applied psychoanalysis on its own terms to explore and explain how the tensions within the 20th

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