Uprooted Minds : Surviving the Politics of Terror in the Americas book cover
1st Edition

Uprooted Minds
Surviving the Politics of Terror in the Americas

ISBN 9780881634914
Published July 1, 2010 by Routledge
428 Pages

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Book Description

In our post-9/11 environment, our sense of relative security and stability as privileged subjects living in the heart of Empire has been profoundly shaken. Hollander explores the forces that have brought us to this critical juncture, analyzing the role played by the neoliberal economic paradigm and conservative political agenda that emerged in the West over the past four decades with devastating consequences for the hemisphere's citizens. Narrative testimonies of progressive U.S. and Latin American psychoanalysts illuminate the psychological meanings of living under authoritarian political conditions and show how a psychoanalysis "beyond the couch" contributes to social struggles on behalf of human rights and redistributive justice. By interrogating themes related to the mutual effects of social power and ideology, large group dynamics and unconscious fantasies, affects and defenses, Hollander encourages reflections about our experience as social/psychological subjects.

Table of Contents

Scared Stiff: Social Trauma and Post-9/11 Political Culture. Political Culture and Psychoanalysis in the Southern Cone: Coming Attractions of the Dirty Wars. A Psychoanalysis for Tumultuous Times: The Psyche and Social Revolution. The Psychodynamics of State Terror. The Culture of Fear and Social Trauma. Exile: Paradoxes of Loss and Creativity. Neoliberal Democracy in Latin America: Impunity and Economic Meltdown. U.S. Neoliberal/Neoconservative Democracy: Psychoanalysis without the Couch. Impunity and Resistance: Saving Democracy in the Heart of Empire. The Future's Uprooted Minds.

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Nancy Caro Hollander, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita at California State University, faculty and member of the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, and is in clinical practice in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-author of Psychoanalysis, Class, and Politics: Encounters in the Clinical Setting (Routledge, 2006).


"While reading Uprooted Minds, I recognized that Nancy Hollander has become a giant among a handful of psychoanalytic investigators who have taken psychoanalysis beyond the couch and utilized it in the examination of social, political, historical, and economic conditions. An esteemed authority on the psychology of the era of state terror in Latin America between the 1960s and 1990s, she contributes to our understanding of Latin American psychoanalysts' moving, soul-searching response to it. In this book, her psychoanalytic insights also illuminate topics ranging from terror and torture to "American exceptionalism," globalization to political leaders' personalities and new economic/military alliances, to despair as well as hope about humankind's future. This is one of the most significant books of our time, and it should be read not only by persons who are interested in expanding the influence of psychoanalysis beyond its clinical application, but by everyone who wishes to be more than a passive bystander to the dangerous world we live in." - Vamik D. Volkan, M.D., President, American College of Psychoanalysts

"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 traveled 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 Honoree 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, Ph.D., 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." - Christopher Bollas, Ph.D.

"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, Ph.D., 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, Ph.D., author, The Hero in the Mirror