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Wilhelm Reich

Psychoanalyst and Radical Naturalist

Robert S. Corrington

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A stirring reappraisal of the brilliant, maligned psychoanalytic thinker

Robert S. Corrington offers the first thorough reconsideration of Wilhelm Reich's life and work since Reich's death in 1957. Reich was seventeen years old at the outbreak of World War I and had already witnessed the suicides of his mother and father. A native of Vienna, he became a disciple of Freud; but by his late twenties, having already written his classic The Function of the Orgasm, he fled the Third Reich and departed, too, from Freudian psychoanalysis.

In The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Reich first took the now classic position that social behavior has its every root in sexual behavior and repression. But the psychoanalytic community was made uncomfortable by this claim, and it was said -- by the time of Reich's death in an American prison on dubious charges brought by the federal government -- that Reich had squandered his prodigal genius and surrendered to his own paranoia and psychosis, an opinion still responsible for the neglect and misconception of Reich's contribution to psychology.

In this transfixing psychobiography, Corrington illuminates the themes and obsessions that unify Reich's work and reports on Reich's fascinating, unrelenting one-man quest to probe the ultimate structures of self, world, and cosmos.

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Wilhelm Reich
1Family Tragedy, Sexual Awakening, and World War IWilhelm Reich was born on March 24, 1897, on the outer reaches of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on a fairly wealthy farm estate in Bukovina, in what is now Ukraine. His mother, Cecilie (or Cacilie) Roniger Reich, was nineteen, his father, Leon Reich, at least ten years older. A sister was born the next year, but she died almost immediately. His one surviving sibling, Robert, was born three years later. Their fraternal relationship would be vexed for a number of reasons, especially those surrounding sexual rivalry and the competition
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Robert S. Corrington

  • Robert S. Corrington is a professor of philosophical theology at Drew University in New Jersey. His books include Nature and Spirit: An Essay in Ecstatic Naturalism and An Introduction to C. S. Peirce.
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Wilhelm Reich

Psychoanalyst and Radical Naturalist

Robert S. Corrington

  • e-Book

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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