Uprooted Minds A Social Psychoanalysis for Precarious Times
In the second edition of Uprooted Minds, Hollander offers a unique social psychoanalytic exploration of our increasingly destabilized political environment, augmented by her research into the previously untold history of psychoanalytic engagement in the challenging social issues of our times.
Often akin to a political thriller, Hollander’s social psychoanalytic analysis of the devastating effects of group trauma is illuminated through testimonials by U.S. and South American psychoanalysts who have survived the vicissitudes of their countries’ authoritarian political regimes and destabilizing economic crises. Hollander encourages reflections about our experience as social/psychological subjects through her elaboration of the reciprocal impact of social power, hegemonic ideology, large group dynamics and unconscious processes. Her epilogue, written a decade after the first edition of Uprooted Minds, extends its themes to the present period, arguing for a decolonial psychoanalysis that addresses coloniality and white supremacy as the latent forces responsible for our deepening political crises and environmental catastrophe. She shows how the progressive psychoanalytic activism she depicts in the book that was on the margins of the profession has in the last decade moved increasingly to the centre of psychoanalytic theory and praxis.
This book will prove essential for those at work or interested in the fields of psychoanalysis, politics, economics, globalization and history.
‘No one in the field of psychoanalysis is better than Nancy Hollander at analyzing and explaining where the complexities of the psyche meet the power dynamics of the socio-political moment. Psychoanalyst, activist, historian, artist, and passionate, accessible writer, Hollander has secured her place among the many heroic psychoanalytic activists she introduces us to in Uprooted Minds. Hollander makes palpable the ways that political and economic elites in both the U.S. and in Latin America work to create hopelessness, identification with the aggressor, and an incapacity to think. And yet, she also inspires us with stories about psychoanalysts who continue to use their minds, to engage in social struggles, to resist the inequalities brought about by these many decades of neoliberal racial capitalism. In a stunning epilogue that takes the reader from the time of the book’s publication into the events of this very moment, Hollander surveys the many decolonizing movements currently fighting white supremacy and the capitalist extraction destroying our planet. She calls on us to choose, both as citizens and as psychoanalysts, how we are going to navigate fascist threats to democracy in the U.S. and elsewhere today, and the vicious backlash aimed at undermining the thinking and doing of progressive social movements.’
Lynne Layton, author Toward a Social Psychoanalysis: Culture, Character and Normative Unconscious Processes
‘Uprooted Minds is as rare in psychoanalysis as it is a timely and politically organizing read in an increasingly fascist era. In this refreshingly accessible scholarly work, Hollander does us all a tremendous favor by beautifully distilling a leviathan task: detailing the nexus between contemporary and sociopolitically attuned psychoanalytic theory, radical political thought, and a piercingly clear social and class analysis. What she organizes for the reader feels central and life-sustaining for any work done by clinical practitioners, academics, and activists alike during increasingly repressive times in the United States and globally. Equal parts clinical, historical, as well as critically social and political, Uprooted Minds is a must read for anyone who craves a textured and containing framework to understand both the psychic and political roots of, as well as potential defense(s) against, oppressive structures such as classism, coloniality, imperialism, and capitalism.’
Lara Sheehi, co-author, Psychoanalysis Under Occupation: Practicing Resistance in Palestine (2022)
‘This subtle and penetrating inquiry weaves together the hideous record of state terror in the Americas and the terrible human cost of economic fundamentalism, and explores how social-psychological theory and direct engagement can ameliorate the traumas left in their wake and help overcome the institutional framework of repression and domination that bars the way to personal and social liberation.’
Noam Chomsky, author, What We Say Goes: Conversations on U. S. Power in a Changing World (2007) and Essential Chomsky (2009)
‘Nancy's Hollander's book makes its welcome appearance just as Argentina has moved toward a much-needed social reparation by reopening the legal cases against the perpetrators of the Dirty War, who four decades ago disappeared, tortured, and assassinated tens of thousands of Argentine citizens. Intimately familiar with the history of dictatorship in the Southern Cone, Hollander alerts us to the dangerous road travelled by the United States since 9/11. Books like Hollander's, which represent a socially engaged psychoanalysis, take their place alongside the courageous work of human rights activists that have made social justice possible. Uprooted Minds is a must-read for all who are concerned about the future of humanity.’
Julia Braun, Argentine psychoanalyst, mother of a disappeared son, and winner of the IPA's Hayman Prize for published work pertaining to traumatized children and adults
‘In the tradition begun by Freud when he turned his psychoanalytic gaze toward the deeply conflicted human condition in Civilization and Its Discontents, Nancy Caro Hollander critically explores the discontents of our culture. She has produced a book that inserts itself in the crossroads between the individual and the social, the personal and the political, between neoliberalism and the progressive movements that challenge it, between democracy and authoritarianism, and between the September 11's of the two Americas. With an artist's sensibility and a depth that only personal experience can engender, she examines the impact of traumatic events that deeply affect people's subjectivity and social experience. Uprooted Minds is a testimonial text that is not dispassionate and 'objective,' but, on the contrary, a revelation of life lived, suffered, felt, and thought about: history incarnate. Hollander's style is rigorous, transparent, solidly researched, and colloquial, and with Uprooted Minds she delivers a social analysis that only a psychoanalyst could write.’
Juan Carlos Volnovich, Argentine psychoanalyst, psychological consultant to the Grandmothers of the Plaza del Mayo and honorary professor, University of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo
‘Drawing on personal experience and conversations with psychoanalysts who lived through and witnessed torture and murder in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay over the last four decades, Nancy Hollander has written a book that will be an eye-opener and a consciousness-raiser for many of us about U.S.-sponsored oppression. For U.S. psychoanalysts in particular, there is much to be learned from the experience of Latin American analysts' struggles to relieve individual suffering in the context of state-sponsored terror, while deploying psychoanalytic understanding in the service of creating a more humane society. Bringing lessons learned from this Latin American experience to an analysis of the social trauma represented by 9/11 and the consequent erosion of political and social democracy in this country, Hollander shows how a social psychoanalysis has emerged here as well. She has given an essential guide to those of us in North America who, using a socially situated psychoanalysis, want to help the individuals we work with in the context of post-9/11 political crises and to make a reparative contribution to the world we live in.’
Neil Altman, author, The Analyst in the Inner City, Second Edition (2009)
‘Uprooted Minds inherits and develops psychoanalytical social psychology through a brilliant analysis of the historical roots of disturbances in the social matrices of several contemporary societies. Hollander weaves interviews with eminent analysts and social activists with her own personal recollections to create a book unlike any other I have read. Informative, challenging, disturbing, passionate, and good-humored, I think it will inspire a new generation of psychoanalytical investigations of social dreaming.’
‘Nancy Hollander has once again ventured into domains few psychoanalysts have dared to explore. As in her previous highly-acclaimed Love in a Time of Hate: Liberation Psychology in Latin America, she brilliantly exposes the intersection of psychology and politics. This time she examines the post-9/11 impact on political culture, covering a wide range of topics, from Argentina's economic debacle to today's challenges in American democracy. Uprooted Minds accomplishes the almost impossible task of establishing a long-overdue dialogue between social sciences and psychoanalysis. Hollander, an historian and psychoanalyst, has delivered an original work that illuminates readers from the North and the South. Her work empowers psychoanalysts, mental health practitioners, and social scientists to build bridges between practice and political activism.’
Isaac Tylim, secretary, International Psychoanalytic Association Committee on the United Nations
‘Uprooted Minds is an important and riveting critique of our times. At present, globalization is linking us in with violence as well as environmental and economic collapse. Integrating history, politics, memoir, and psychoanalysis, this book is an incisive study of this disintegration. Hollander illuminates our despair, but she also exhorts us towards hope, courage, and resistance. This is a passionate, humane, and scholarly work.’
Sue Grand, author, The Hero in the Mirror