The Leader

pp 31-54


From Erik H. Erikson to Heinz Kohut: Expanding Theories of Leadership

  • Charles B. StrozierAffiliated withJohn Jay College, Center on Terrorism Email author 
  • , Oliger AbdyliAffiliated withJohn Jay College, Center on Terrorism

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Of all the people influenced by Freud, Erik Erikson most creatively bridged psychoanalysis and history. He began as an artist, but in the 1920s was drawn into analysis with Anna Freud and eventually graduated from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society in the portentous year of 1933. On the boat coming to America shortly afterwards, Erikson shared an essay on Hitler with the diplomat and historian George Kennan, who helped him to translate it into English. In America, Erikson soon established his reputation as a child analyst and became acquainted with people like Margaret Mead. In the late 1930s and 1940s, he conducted a series of studies that culminated in his first book, Childhood and Society (1950). After that, his interests have always included both the clinical and the historical.