The Case for Psychobiography
DOI link for The Case for Psychobiography
The Case for Psychobiography book
One of the elements that makes American democracy work is the fact that we tend to lead hyphenated existences. We are African-Americans, Italian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, and so on. Part of our cultural identities is signified by the word on the left side of the hyphen. It is our own business, as long as there is no public question raised about our political allegiance to the American side of the hyphen. Those of us who are primarily trained as historians or as psychoanalysts, but who are interested in bringing the insights derived from psychoanalysis into the historical field, lead an additional hyphenated existence. We have been referred to as psycho-historians and psycho-biographers. The psycho part of the hyphenated term is the one that causes the most trouble. For it is often said that there are few historians who have the psychoanalytic background necessary to either engage in the practice of psycho-history/biography, or to judge the results of such inquiries.