My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin by Peter Gay - review by Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

Safe at Last

My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin

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Yale University Press 208pp £15.50 order from our bookshop
 

Peter Gay is perhaps the only historian to have applied Freud successfully to the past. His five-volume The Bourgeois Experience is one of the great achievements of postwar cultural history, alive with absorbing insights into the inner transformation of European life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ‘There are no ... accidents’, he writes here, arrestingly, ‘in the universe that Freud has discovered for us.’

Although he is an admirer of the great Viennese psychoanalyst, Gay has never been a dogmatic Freudian. Indeed, he has written other books in which psychoanalysis has barely rated a mention. But this new volume – a fragment of autobiography chiefly concerned with the years between 1933 and 1939 –

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