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Waelder, R. (1963). Historical Fiction. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 11:628-651.

(1963). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 11:628-651

Historical Fiction

Robert Waelder, Ph.D.

Erich Fromm, author of the book, Sigmund Freud's Mission, was originally a social philosopher and critic of the social scene. He came from the small but highly influential circle of the Institute of Social Research in Frankfort, Germany, a scientific-political hybrid of left-Socialist—not Communist—orientation. He was in early contact with psychoanalysis, and has combined, in his literary work and in his therapy, his social views and his selections from, and modifications of, psychoanalytic ideas. He was professor of psychoanalysis at the University of Mexico. He is professor of psychology at Michigan State University and a member of the Washington Psychoanalytic Society.

Fromm has been an articulate critic of Western society. Though not an orthodox Marxist, he belongs to the Messianic tradition of social thought, of which Marxism is itself the most successful manifestation, i.e., he has a picture of a perfect society of complete harmony ("the sane society") and he believes that its establishment is a proposition of practical politics. Fromm is also an articulate advocate of certain measures in American foreign policy. He believes in principle in the merits of unilateral disarmament but recognizes its impracticability and advocates, as a matter of practical policy, gradated steps of reduction of armaments which he expects will be reciprocated in kind by our adversary. He is interested in Zen Buddhism.

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