The Leader pp 41-48 | Cite as

Sigmund Freud and History

  • Charles B. Strozier
  • Daniel Offer


Freud’s own formal efforts at applied psychoanalytic work covered an enormous range after the early period of incubation. Only music did not interest him. Just two of his books touched directly on questions of leadership: Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921) and, with William Bullitt, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study (1966 [1932]).1 Leadership, if somewhat more broadly considered, however, was a major concern of Freud. His extensive theoretical writings on the Oedipus complex in a sense describe the psychological process of leading and following in a family. A study like that of Leonardo da Vinci in 1910 focuses on a major leader in the world of art. Totem and Taboo (1913) argues that the origins of civilization lay in the struggle with the clan leader of primitive cultures. Civilization and Its Discontents (1930) explores the complex mechanisms of guilt and repression in modern life that fuel the dynamics of mass behavior. And, finally, in his grand study of Moses, Moses and Monotheism (1939), Freud returned at the end of his own life to a leader who helped shape the beginnings of western civilization.


Standard Edition Introductory Lecture Group Psychology Idealize Leader Oedipus Complex 
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  1. 1.
    S. Freud and C. Bullitt, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1966 [1932]).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sigmund Freud, “Group Psychology and The Analysis of the Ego,” in Vol. XVIII of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press, 1955).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, ed. James Strachey, one-volume paperback (New York: Avon Library, 1900), p. 139.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., 139-154.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., 241-247.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., 298-299.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Erik H. Erikson, Gandhi’s Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence (New York: Norton, 1969), p. 123.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ibid., 102.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sigmund Freud, “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy,” Standard Edition, X (1909), 3–149.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Freud and Bullitt, Wilson, p. xvi.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sigmund Freud, “Totem and Taboo,” Standard Edition, XIII (1913), 9–162.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, ed. James Strachey, paperback edition (New York: Norton, 1933), p. 113.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ibid., 114-115.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ibid., 129.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sigmund Freud, “Group Psychology,” Standard Edition, XVIII, 69.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ibid., 77.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ibid., 81.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibid., 88.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ibid., 92.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ibid., 97.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid., 106.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ibid., 108.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ibid., 116.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ibid., 123.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ibid., 123.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles B. Strozier
  • Daniel Offer

There are no affiliations available

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