In Decoding the Past, Peter Loewenberg has collected eleven of his brilliant essays on psychohistory, a discipline that has emerged from the synthesis of traditional historical analysis and clinical psychoanalysis. He surveys this relatively new field—its methods and its problems—to show the special contributions that psychoanalysis can make to history. He then further explores the psychohistorical method by applying it to studies of personality, cultures, groups, and mass movements, demonstrating that psychohistory offers one of the most powerful of interpretive approaches to history.
Decoding the Past is an impressive study that demonstrates the range of Loewenberg's own work in history and psychoanalysis and the full promise of an important and innovative methodology for others. His new essay takes up many of the criticisms and concerns raised about the method of psychohistory, and offers a cogent defense for its continued usage.