This morning I worked as a literary archeologist of sorts by pulling Lloyd deMause’s The Emotional Life of Nations off an old website and putting the book into a readable form by changing font type and size and making a few other changes to make it more readable. It is one of the key books in the relatively obscure discipline called psychohistory or the study of the psychological motivations of historical events. Psychohistory attempts to combine the insights of psychoanalysis with the research methodology of the social sciences to understand the emotional origin of the social and political behavior of groups and nations, past and present.
* * *
I discovered psychohistory in the 80s and 90s when writing my books on symbolism. I corresponded a number of times with Lloyd deMause and even joined the Psychohistorical Association and received their journal. What was particularly interesting about psychohistory to me was its interdisciplinary nature. It was a “rebel” discipline, not following the rules of academia of staying within current defined boundaries of disciplines. Combining disciplines, or inter-disciplinary studies, has never had a good reputation in America’s university community. The academic community seemed especially afraid of psychohistory becuase it threatened to combine two major academic disciplines of history and psychology into a unified area of knowledge.
* * *
Below is a PDF of The Emotional Life of Nations by Lloyd deMause, one of the founding members of the discipline of psychohistory. It offers much wisdom and insight into the problems and challenges of our modern world. I believe it is one of the great undiscovered books out there and certainly one of the most important books I have ever read. Also below, is a link to the International Psychohistorical Association where a number of dedicated scholars continue to publish work in the area of psychohistory.
* * *
I’m proud to say that I reformated/designed deMause’s brilliant The Emotional Life of Nations for online PDF form. It can be accessed here at … the emotional life of nations
(The copy accessed above is book without the original references which amount to over two-hundred pages. Those who want a PDF with references, please contact me). For more information on this area contact the International Psychohistorical Association