U VA's Mark Edmundson writes about his new book, The Death of Sigmund Freud: the legacy of his last days, in The Chronicle Review. One quote:
The Death of Sigmund Freud began as a book about death and dying. I wanted to understand what it might mean to die a good death — a good secular death. From what I knew of Freud's last days, when he was dying of cancer, he had done exactly that. In fact, as I studied his life, I found that to the end he was tough, brave, and resolutely secular. His final public act was to publish his most controversial book, Moses and Monotheism. "Quite a worthy exit," he said of the volume, and it was. So I began writing about Freud's heroic demise.
But the true subject of a book is often about 20 degrees away from the author's original intention, and so it was here. As I studied Freud's old age and his late work, I came to see that the problems he encountered were in many ways still ours. Both religious fundamentalism and political tyranny threatened Freud in old age, and in quite immediate ways. Freud worked on his Moses book under the shadow of the repressive Roman Catholic Church of Austria, which surely would have moved to suppress the book if he had tried to publish it in Vienna. When he was 81 years old, Nazi Germany invaded Austria and threatened Freud and his family with death.
Read the whole piece. Quite remarkable the way Anna was brought for interrogation by the Gestapo - with a suicide pill in her pocket. Tyranny has always been fearful of psychoanalysis due to the centrality it grants to the individual soul and spirit.