Read Sex-pol: Essays, 1929-1934 by Wilhelm Reich Free Online
Book Title: Sex-pol: Essays, 1929-1934|
The author of the book: Wilhelm Reich
ISBN 13: 9781781680247
Date of issue: January 16th 2013
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.78 MB
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This volume contains the first complete translations of Wilhelm Reich’s writings from his Marxist period. Reich, who died in 1957, had a career with a single goal: to find ways of relieving human suffering. And the same curiosity and courage that led him from medical school to join the early pioneers of Freudian psychoanalysis, and then to some of the most controversial work of this century—his development of the theory of the orgone—led him also, at one period of his life, to become a radical socialist.
The renewed interest in Reich’s Marxist writings, and particularly in his notions about sexual and political liberation, follows the radical critiques of Herbert Marcuse, Frantz Fanon and Paul Goodman, the political protest movements toward personal liberation in the present decade.
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Read information about the authorJewish Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.
Reich was a respected analyst for much of his life, focusing on character structure, rather than on individual neurotic symptoms. He promoted adolescent sexuality, the availability of contraceptives and abortion, and the importance for women of economic independence. Synthesizing material from psychoanalysis, cultural anthropology, economics, sociology, and ethics, his work influenced writers such as Alexander Lowen, Fritz Perls, Paul Goodman, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, A. S. Neill, and William Burroughs.
He was also a controversial figure, who came to be viewed by the psychoanalytic establishment as having gone astray or as having succumbed to mental illness. His work on the link between human sexuality and neuroses emphasized "orgastic potency" as the foremost criterion for psycho-physical health. He said he had discovered a form of energy, which he called "orgone," that permeated the atmosphere and all living matter, and he built "orgone accumulators," which his patients sat inside to harness the energy for its reputed health benefits. It was this work, in particular, that cemented the rift between Reich and the psychoanalytic establishment.
Reich, of Jewish descent and a communist, was living in Germany when Adolf Hitler came to power. He fled to Scandinavia in 1933 and subsequently to the United States in 1939. In 1947, following a series of critical articles about orgone and his political views in The New Republic and Harper's, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into his claims, winning an injunction against the interstate sale of orgone accumulators. Charged with contempt of court for violating the injunction, Reich conducted his own defense, which involved sending the judge all his books to read, and arguing that a court was no place to decide matters of science. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA. He died of heart failure in jail just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.
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