Bringing Freud to America

Publishers, Pirates and the Popularization of His Ideas

Not Yet Published


New 2023 Pre-Order

Available for pre-order / backorder

About the Book

In 1900, hardly anyone in America had heard of Sigmund Freud, but by 1920 nearly everyone had. This is the story of the translators, editors, journalists, publishers, promoters and booksellers who first brought Freud to American readers. They included scientists and scoundrels, reckless risk-takers and buttoned-down businessmen, puritans and libertines, anarchists and capitalists, passionate freedom fighters and racist bigots. “American publishers,” Freud wrote to one colleague, “are a dangerous breed.” Elsewhere he called them rascals, liars, swindlers, crooks, and pirates.
Here are accounts of their drunken parties, political crusades, questionable business practices, criminal prosecutions, shameless marketing, and blatant plagiarism. There’s even a suicide and a murder. And lots of sex (it’s a book about Freud, after all). Ideas that Freud introduced or promoted are woven so tightly into our daily lives today that, like gravity or air, we hardly notice them. This book, based on hundreds of unpublished records, explains how they first took root in American minds more than a century ago.

About the Author(s)

Michael Edmonds is a writer, teacher, and historian based in Madison, Wisconsin. His previous books on history, nature, and folklore explore how ideas have moved through time and space in oral, printed, and digital forms. His work has won national awards from the American Folklore Society, the American Association for State and Local History, and the American Library Association.

Bibliographic Details

Michael Edmonds
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 30 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9223-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5007-4
Imprint: McFarland