Higgins - American Odyssey - Wilhelm Reich - Letters and Journals 1940-1947 (2004).pdf (Size: 2.78 MB) (Files: 1)
Higgins - American Odyssey - Wilhelm Reich - Letters and Journals 1940-1947 (2004).pdf
Mary Boyd Higgins edited this unique collection of Wilhelm Reich's personal notes entitled American Odyssey - Letters and Journals 1940-1947 (2004) which details his most intimate thoughts and communications with family, friends, colleagues and inevitably, harassers. Wilhelm Reich, renegade psychoanalyst and former disciple of Freud, arrived in the U.S. in 1939, fleeing Hitler's Europe and charges of charlatanism in Oslo. He spent the next decade in Forest Hills, N.Y., where he married German-born socialist Ilse Ollendorff in 1945, one year after the birth of their son. This compilation of his letters and journal entries, which swing from messianic rant to astute cultural commentary, is a revealing autobiographical document that opens a window onto a tortured soul. Arrested by the FBI in 1941 as a "dangerous enemy alien," Reich, an ex-communist, spent more than three weeks detained on Ellis Island. Seeking scientific support for his orgone energy accumulator, a simple box that supposedly captured primordial cosmic energy, which he alleged could help in treating many diseases including cancer, Reich met with Albert Einstein in Princeton for four hours but Einstein subsequently broke off their correspondence, convinced he had found a mundane explanation for the phenomena observed. Turning away from politics, Reich focuses his wrath on "the average little man'" whose conformity and psychological immaturity, he claims, make possible a Hitler or a Mussolini. He also discusses his move away from verbal psychoanalytic techniques to an emphasis on releasing energy blocks. Readers who can get past Reich's megalomaniacal posturing and quasi-scientific gobbledygook will be challenged by his forceful random thoughts on marriage, monogamy, fatherhood, suicide, war, Hitler, FDR, America, Nietzsche, Beethoven and sexual hypocrisy. American Odyssey describes more than a period in the life of an embattled scientist. It illuminates the social and intellectual life of a country in a tumultuous time in history. 445 pages, some pictures. A must read for everyone.