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Roazen, P. (2001). Psychohistory: Theory and Practice. Jacques Szaluta. New York: Peter Lang, 1999. 286 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 70(2):506-507.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 70(2):506-507

Psychohistory: Theory and Practice. Jacques Szaluta. New York: Peter Lang, 1999. 286 pp.

Review by:
Paul Roazen

This is a sober and conscientious survey of psychohistory, a term which is now so widely used that it no longer needs to be hyphenated. Szaluta is primarily concerned with methodological issues, but he gives ample space to the arguments of critics as well as proponents. Freud plays the central theoretical role; Erikson's work gets a full chapter; and there is a chapter on post-Freudian developments as well, covering ego psychology, the British school, French interpreters, and Kohut's self psychology. Szaluta seems to be firmly in the camp of psychohistory's proponents, yet reviews the primary literature that has examined the pros and cons of creating a special academic subfield by combining psychoanalysis and history. Newcomers to this subject will find here a fair-minded outline of the whole contour of the major issues that have arisen in connection with psychohistory.

Some reservations about Szaluta's conceptual approach do seem to me to be in order.

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