Wilhelm Reich: A Personal Biography

Wilhelm Reich: A Personal Biography by Ilse Ollendorff Reich, introduction by Paul Goodman, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Ilse Ollendorff Reich Wilhelm Reich A Personal Biography

“His books and papers were being burned by order of a United States court. he was in a federal penitentiary, in disgrace, his sanity questioned. Seminal works such as Character Analysis, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, The Murder of Christ, were being obliterated by the government of the United States. Yet it was Wilhelm Reich’s faith that history would justify him, that his cause would prevail.

Now Reich’s central ideas: the need of individual freedom and autonomy and the the elimination of psychic ‘armor’—cramped, self-limiting defences against human contact—and the identification of social and political forces as either life-serving or destructive of life, are being discovered by a generation which questions the conventional wisdom it has been handed. Wilhelm Reich has become an important source of ideas for young radicals and his books have been re-issued and are widely read. Ilse Ollendorff Reich has now set down the moving story of her late husband’s life and work, his torments and his triumphs, his theories and the controversies that surrounded them. Her book will inspire and enlighten a world that is only now discovering its indebtedness to Reich.” — back cover