Read The Sexual Revolution: Toward a Self-governing Character Structure by Wilhelm Reich Free Online
Book Title: The Sexual Revolution: Toward a Self-governing Character Structure|
The author of the book: Wilhelm Reich
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Edition: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of issue: January 1st 1963
ISBN 13: 9780374502683
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 814 KB
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In this book, Wilhelm Reich summarizes the criticism of the prevailing sexual conditions and conflicts as it resulted from his sex-economic medical experiences over a period of years. He demonstrates, by way of individual examples, the general basic traits of the conflicts in presentday sexual living, dealing particularly with the institution of marriage and the revolution in family life as well as with the problems of infantile and adolescent sexuality. He also presents a detailed and revealing study of the sexual revolution that occurred briefly in Soviet Russia in the first few years of their economic revolution.
"What we are living through," Reich stated, "is a genuine, deep-reaching revolution of cultural living [which] goes to the roots of our emotional, social and economic existence. ... The senses of the animal, man, for his natural life functions are awakening from a sleep of thousands of years."
The Sexual Revolution was first published in English in 1945. This revised fourth edition includes Reich's prefaces as well as all the other material that appeared in earlier editions.
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Read information about the authorJewish Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.
Reich was a respected analyst for much of his life, focusing on character structure, rather than on individual neurotic symptoms. He promoted adolescent sexuality, the availability of contraceptives and abortion, and the importance for women of economic independence. Synthesizing material from psychoanalysis, cultural anthropology, economics, sociology, and ethics, his work influenced writers such as Alexander Lowen, Fritz Perls, Paul Goodman, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, A. S. Neill, and William Burroughs.
He was also a controversial figure, who came to be viewed by the psychoanalytic establishment as having gone astray or as having succumbed to mental illness. His work on the link between human sexuality and neuroses emphasized "orgastic potency" as the foremost criterion for psycho-physical health. He said he had discovered a form of energy, which he called "orgone," that permeated the atmosphere and all living matter, and he built "orgone accumulators," which his patients sat inside to harness the energy for its reputed health benefits. It was this work, in particular, that cemented the rift between Reich and the psychoanalytic establishment.
Reich, of Jewish descent and a communist, was living in Germany when Adolf Hitler came to power. He fled to Scandinavia in 1933 and subsequently to the United States in 1939. In 1947, following a series of critical articles about orgone and his political views in The New Republic and Harper's, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into his claims, winning an injunction against the interstate sale of orgone accumulators. Charged with contempt of court for violating the injunction, Reich conducted his own defense, which involved sending the judge all his books to read, and arguing that a court was no place to decide matters of science. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA. He died of heart failure in jail just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.