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Roazen, P. (2001). The Exclusion of Erich Fromm from the IPA. Contemp. Psychoanal., 37(1):5-42.

(2001). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 37(1):5-42

The Exclusion of Erich Fromm from the IPA

Paul Roazen, Ph.D.

THE SUBJECT of psychoanalytic lineage has recently acquired a new respectability among historians in the field. Although privately analysts have known and acknowledged how critical it is who has gone where and to whom for training, it is relatively rare that public attention has focused on the unusually powerful impact that such training analyses can have. The special suggestive role of analytic training experiences was long ago pointed out in the course of controversial in-fighting by such differently oriented pioneers as Edward Glover (Roazen, 2000a) and Jacques Lacan, but it has been unusual to find the institution of training analysis itself publicly challenged. It remains little known that historically the requirement that all analysts be themselves analyzed for purposes of training only got going officially under the auspices of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) in 1925, after Freud was ill with cancer and had implicitly to concede his inability to control the future of his movement personally (Roazen, in press).

At the same time, however, that analytic lineage—family tree matters—(Falzeder, 1994, 1998) deserves full attention, it can be easy to forget the role that books play, especially for intellectuals, in spreading ideas. One might think it a truism that people not only go for treatment, but respond powerfully to what they come across in print. Many of us were first attracted to psychoanalysis by reading the writings of Erich Fromm (1900-1980). Fromm's powerful papers from the early 1930s (e.g., Fromm, 1935) were once relatively unknown, but such books as Escape From Freedom (1941) became central texts for years in the education of social scientists (Roazen, 2000b). Works of Fromm's like Man for Himself (1947), Psychoanalysis and Religion (1950), The Forgotten Language (1957a), and The Sane Society (1956) formed an essential part of my generation's general education. I think Fromm's most hortatory last writings, and his specifically political ones, fall into a different category, considering the general influence he had.

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