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Marcus, P. (1997). Psychoanalysis at the Political Border: Essays in Honor of Rafael Moses edited by Leo Rangell and Rena Moses-Hrushovski Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1996, xi + 330 pp., $50.00The Anti-Group: Destructive Forces in the Group and Their Creative Potential by Morris Nitsun London/New York: Routledge, 1996, xvii + 318 pp., $59.95. Psa. Books, 8(4):489-499.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Books, 8(4):489-499

Psychoanalysis at the Political Border: Essays in Honor of Rafael Moses edited by Leo Rangell and Rena Moses-Hrushovski Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1996, xi + 330 pp., $50.00The Anti-Group: Destructive Forces in the Group and Their Creative Potential by Morris Nitsun London/New York: Routledge, 1996, xvii + 318 pp., $59.95

Review by:
Paul Marcus, Ph.D.

“Rafael Moses,” writes Leo Rangell in his introduction to this interesting Festschrift, “is the quintessential psychoanalyst of the Middle East. I do not mean a psychoanalyst who lives in the Middle East, but his central interests and analytic image epitomize the application of the psychoanalytic view to the understanding of the Middle East and his indigenous conflicts” (p. 4). Moses, an Israeli, is best known for his steady stream of articles on psychopolitical phenomena. He has written on such topics as the group and political processes that affect international conflict, the nature of leadership, how national history, such as the Holocaust, is internalized into individual psychodynamics, and psychological obstacles to the peace process in the Middle East. His two coedited volumes are entitled Psychological Bases of War (1973) and Persistent Shadows of the Holocaust: Its Meaning To Those Not Directly Affected (1993; see my review in this Journal, vol. 5, 1994, pp. 447-452).

In my view, Moses's main contribution to the field has been to help enlarge psychoanalysis from a strictly clinical and professional discipline to one that includes understanding group and social phenomena. In particular, he has astutely focused on those psychosocial processes which undermine individual autonomy, integration, and security and which, in the context of the group, can promote destructive behavior against imagined enemies.

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