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Schupper, F.X. Slochower, H. (1967). George B. Wilbur at 80. Am. Imago, 24(4):287-289.

(1967). American Imago, 24(4):287-289

George B. Wilbur at 80

Fabian X. Schupper and Harry Slochower

George Browning Wilbur reached his eightieth year on December 22, 1967.

As editor of American Imago for 17 crucial years—1946 to 1963—Dr. Wilbur kept the broad and deep channels of applied psychoanalysis open in this country. The post-war years, especially the earlier ones, posed a serious threat to the psychoanalytic movement in America by a narrowing of its focus on therapeutic procedure. This era did not appear interested in or able to broaden the application of psychoanalysis beyond “practical” results, and neglected its relevance to culture and the arts. That psychoanalytic theory might have a more fundamental bearing on the fateful social currents of our day by the examination of social and cultural processes than through psycho-therapeutics alone has recently become a reanimated issue. We would like to think that American Imago, under the editorship of Dr. George B. Wilbur, has contributed to this revival.

Dr. Wilbur assumed editorship upon the death of Hanns Sachs, who was co-editor with Freud of the old Imago (published in the German language). Encouraged by Freud, Sachs brought the journal to America. Freud was to have been the first editor of American Imago, but he died shortly before the appearance of the first issue in 1939. Freud's long and intense interest in the application of psychoanalysis to culture is, of course, well known. His final creative work was Moses and Monotheism.

Following Hanns Sachs' sudden death, Dr. Wilbur nurtured and maintained the American Imago in an unbroken series for seventeen years, giving of himself in a dedicated way to keep the journal alive.

George Browning Wilbur was born at Fort Larned, Kansas on a farm where his father raised hay to feed cattle. In 1893, when he was six, the family moved to Topeka, so that he and his two sisters might attend school.

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