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Acklin, T. (1994). The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93. New Lives: Differential Receptions of Psychobiographical Writings by Twentieth-Century Historians. Elizabeth Wirth Marvick. Pp. 3-26.. Psychoanal Q., 63:177-178.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93. New Lives: Differential Receptions of Psychobiographical Writings by Twentieth-Century Historians. Elizabeth Wirth Marvick. Pp. 3-26.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:177-178

The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93. New Lives: Differential Receptions of Psychobiographical Writings by Twentieth-Century Historians. Elizabeth Wirth Marvick. Pp. 3-26.

Thomas Acklin

Marvick surveys the development of psychohistory and psychobiography in their distinctively North American forms. She notes the considerable appreciation for psychobiographical studies in America, in contrast to the relative indifference or hostility in France and Great Britain. Psychohistorical studies have usually precipitated an interaction between psychoanalysis and the different disciplines of the liberal arts and sciences. Marvick observes that psychobiographical inquiries have been pursued primarily outside the historical profession in analytically oriented journals. She notes, however, the landmark presidential address of 1957 by William Langer to the American Historical Association, which placed the imprimatur of respectability on the application of analytic hypotheses to historical studies in its

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appreciation of the unconscious sources of changes in attitudes, mentalities, and public perceptions. Marvick wonders whether the appeal of these studies to Americans might be a reaction to the national ethic of the "self-made man," in that they spare the individual full responsibility for his or her success or failure in life, and attribute the determination of personal development to the environment and other biographical factors. Beginning with Preserved Smith's study of Martin Luther in 1913, continuing in the work of many American authors, and of European analysts who emigrated to the United States, such as Erik Erikson, finally blossoming in the development of The Psychohistory Review and The Journal of Psychohistory, psychobiography and psychohistory have received a greater audience in America than elsewhere.

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Article Citation

Acklin, T. (1994). The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93.. Psychoanal. Q., 63:177-178

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