The Leader pp 21-39 | Cite as

The Heroic Period in Psychohistory

  • Charles B. Strozier
  • Daniel Offer


Most fields have their time of great beginnings when “classics” are produced and bold ventures are made into the unknown areas of investigation that were perhaps once glimpsed but never fully explored. Freud, for example, always said that the poets had long intuitively understood his ideas, which he simply made available in scientific terms for the average mortal. Works that evolve from heroic periods appear glorious at the time and only later tarnish somewhat. Thus the first English novels of the eighteenth century interest professors of literature more than they do the average reader, and Max Weber requires patient determination on the part of the contemporary student of sociology. There are some nice exceptions to this general rule—Plato surely reads better than any modern philospher—but the rule still holds. Furthermore, classic periods characteristically generate obsession over method as the new search proceeds. There is no single treasure on a lost island, the existence of which can be keyed on a simple map; the islands in a sense themselves must be created in a whole new world of cartography.


Psychoanalytic Theory Father Figure Oedipal Complex Henry VIII Psychoanalytic Study 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, ed. German Nurnberg and Ernst Federn, 4 volumes (New York, International Universities Press, 1962), I, xxviii.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., 254-58.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., II, 2-12.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See, for example, Freud’s letter, ibid., I, 202-203.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., 299.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., 298-303.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Heinz Kohut, “Creativeness, Charisma, Group Psychology: Reflections on the Self-Analysis of Freud,” in The Search For the Self: Selected Writings of Heinz Kohut, 1950–1978, ed. Paul H. Ornstein, 4 vols. (New York: International Universities Press, 1978), II, 793–843.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Minutes, II, 68-72.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ibid., I, 190-91.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ibid., 193.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ibid., II, 103-104.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ibid., I, 52-56.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Note in addition to the material already discussed, ibid., I, 111-18; II, 185-94; III, 188f., 210f., and 227f.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ibid., II, 117-124; note also the discussion of magic, II, 126f.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ibid., I, 160-61.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ibid., 164.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ibid., II, 173.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibid., 174.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ibid., 174-78.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ibid., I, 169.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid., 98.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ibid., II, 338-52.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ibid., I, 267-68.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ibid., 179-80.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ibid., 259-69.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ibid., 8, for example.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Karl Abraham, “Amenhotep IV. Psychoanalytische Beiträge zurn Verständis seiner Persönlichkeit und des monotheistischen Aton-Kultes,” Imago, 1 (1912), 334–360.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ludwig Jekels, “Der Wendepunkt im Leben Napoleons I,” Imago, 3 (1914), 313–381.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Emil Lorenz, “Der Politische Mythos. Probleme und Vorarbeiten,” Imago, 6 (1920), 402–421.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    J. C. Flügel, “Charakter und Eheleben Heinrichs VIII,” Imago, 7 (1920), 424–441.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    William Boner, “Alexander der Grosse,” Imago, 8 (1922), 418–439.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hanns Sachs, “Ein Traum Bismarcks,” Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyze, 1 (1913), 80–83.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ernest Jones, “The Case of Louis Bonaporte, King of Holland,” Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 8 (1913), 289–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Some additional studies of leadership by the early figures around Freud include: Paul Federn, Zur Psychologie der Revolution (1919); J. C. Flügel, Men and Their Motives: Psychoanalytic Studies (London, 1934); Eich Fromm, “Politik und Psychoanalyse,” Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 2 (1930), 305–313; the English version of E. Hitschmann’s essays, Great Men: Psychoanalytic Studies (New York): International Universities Press, 1956)Google Scholar
  35. Ernest Jones, “Psycho-Analyze Roosevelts,” Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2 (1912), 675–677; W. Lange-Eichbaum, Genie Irrsim, und Ruhn (Munnich, 1928); Oskar Pfistar, Sie Frömmigkut des Grafen Ludwig von Zimzendorf (Leipzig, 1910)Google Scholar
  36. Geza Roheim, “Killing the Divine King,” Man, 15 (1915), 26–28; Hans Sachs, Die Lebensgeschichte des Caligula (Berlin, 1930). By the 1920s, and well into the 1930s, it became quite popular to undertake psychoanalytic studies of leaders. This category includes those influenced by Freud but not in direct contact with him, the early Vienna group, or a part of Imago. A few representative authors (this is not a complete listing) includesCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hill Berkeley, “A Short Study of the Life and Character of Mohammed,” International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 2 (1921), 31–53; F. Chamberlain, The Private Character of Queen Elizabeth (London, 1921); L. Pierce Clark, Lincoln: A Psycho-Biography (New York, 1933); N. Ach, Über die Determinationpsychologie und ihre Bedeutung für des Euherproblem (Leipzig, 1933)Google Scholar
  38. R. Behrendt, “Das Problem Führes und Mosse und die Psychoanalyse,” Psychoanalytische Benegung, 1 (1929), 134–154.Google Scholar


  1. German, French, and Italian authors, not related to Imago, from Psychological Abstracts 1927–1939; Psychological Index 1894–1930; Index of Psychoanalytic Writings, ed. A. Grinstein, 5 volumes (New York: 1956).Google Scholar
  2. Ach, N. Uber die Determinationspsychologie und ihre Bedeutung für das Fuhrerproblem (Leipzig: 1933).Google Scholar
  3. Behrendt, R. “Das Problem Fuhrer und Masse und die Psychoanalyse,” Psychoanalytisehe Bewegung, 1 (1929), 134–154.Google Scholar
  4. Bergler, E. “Die Biographik macht der Psychoanalyse Konzessionen,” Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 5 (1933), 501–512.Google Scholar
  5. Bergier, E. “Motifs inconscients de l’attitude de Napoléon à l’égard de Tallyrand,” Revue Française Psychanalyze, 6 (1933), 409–457.Google Scholar
  6. Binet-Sanglé, C. La Folie de Jésus (Paris: A. Maloine, 1908).Google Scholar
  7. Bloch, L. “Die Sexualethik Luthers,” Die neue Generation, 9 (11), Feb., Mar., 1913.Google Scholar
  8. Carrard, S. “Psychologie der Führung.” Psychologische Rundschau, 1 (1929), 301–307.Google Scholar
  9. Deri, M. “Caligula,” Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 2 (1930), 400–407.Google Scholar
  10. Fenichel, O. “Psychoanalyse der Politik,” Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 4 (1932), 255–268.Google Scholar
  11. Freund, H. “Helmut von Gerlach. Eine Politikeranalyse,” Internationale Zeitschrift für Individualpsychologie, 7 (1929), 351–353.Google Scholar
  12. Friedlander, R. “Wilhelm II. Eine psychologische Studie,” Die Umschau, 1919, No. 13-17.Google Scholar
  13. Gerling, R. “Dr. Martin Luther,” Zeitschrift für Menschenkunde, 2 (1926), 6–18.Google Scholar
  14. Hammer, W. “War Mohammed geisteskrank, fallsüchtig, oder mettersüchtig?” Zeitschrift & Psychotherapie, 8 (1922), 170–200 (another source has this as 8 (1924), 341-362).Google Scholar
  15. Hentig, H. von. Robespierre (Madrid: Entorial Espana, 1930); and Machiavelli (Heidelberg: Carl Winters, 1924.Google Scholar
  16. Kornfeld, H. “Die simulierte Geistesstörung König Davids,” Psychiatrie-Neurologie Wochenschau, 9 (1907), 450–451.Google Scholar
  17. Krauss, F. “Ein Traum König Karls,” Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalysis, 6 (1920), 347–350.Google Scholar
  18. Ley, A. “Les méthodes de pathographie historiques et biographiques,” Journal belge de neurologie et de psychiatrie, 34 (1934), 438–444.Google Scholar
  19. Liertz, R. “Seelenkundliches zum Charakterbilde König Ludwigs II von Bayern,” Alligemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie, 82 (1925), 56–80.Google Scholar
  20. Lindworsky, J. “Die charakterologische Bedeutung der Exerzitien des hl. Ignatius von Loyola,” Jahrbuch der Charakterolosie, 1 (1924), 188–271.Google Scholar
  21. Lomer, G. Ignatius von Loyola (Leipzig: J. A. Barth, 1913). (Note: Abstract in Dooley on English list.)Google Scholar
  22. Ludwig, E. Wilhelm der Zweite (Berlin: E. Rowohlt, 1926).Google Scholar
  23. Oppeln-Bronikowski, F. “Eros als Schicksal bei Friedrich dem Grossen und bei Stendhal.” Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 2 (1930), 314–325.Google Scholar
  24. Ostwald, W. Grosse Männer (Leipzig: Akademische Verlags, 1909).Google Scholar
  25. “H. P.” “Napoleon als Psychoanalytiker,” Zentralblatt für Psychoanalysis, 4 (1914), 411–412.Google Scholar
  26. Pick, R. “Zum Führerproblem,” Internationale Zeitschrift für Individuale-Psychologie, 4 (1926), 368–371.Google Scholar
  27. Portigliotti, G. “L’erotismo di papa Allesandro VI,” Rude Psicologie, 11 (1915), 55–69.Google Scholar
  28. Schaefer, H. Jesus in psychiatrischer Beleuchtung (Berlin: Ernst Hofmann, 1910).Google Scholar
  29. Schestow, L. “Alexander und Diogenes,” Almanach, 1931, 117-119.Google Scholar
  30. Schneiter, C. “Ein Traum Julius Caesars,” Zentralblatt für Psychoanalysis, 1 (1913), 80–83.Google Scholar
  31. Vorberg, G. “Martin Luthers skatologische Ausdrucksweise und ihre Beziehung zur Persölichkeit,” Fortschrift Sexual Psychoanalysis, 2 (1926), 526–528.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles B. Strozier
  • Daniel Offer

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations