Psychobiography Reading Group
of the Psychohistory Forum

June 3rd, 2023 (11:00am – 1pm EDT; rooms open at 10:30 am), 3rd Meeting

The Psychobiography Research and Publication Group of the Psychohistory Forum, with the strong support of Inna Rozentsvit and Ken Fuchsman, has created the virtual Psychobiography Reading Group. Our expectation is that we will meet once in two months and that we should work hard to keep this as a serious psychoanalytic approach to psychobiography. Subsequently, our focus will be on classic works of psychodynamic psychobiography, with the bottom-up approach rather coming from explicit underlying theories.

To learn more about our first 2 meetings, visit the following webpages:

February 25th, 2023, from 11am-1pm EST: Psychobiography Reading Group. Reading J. Anderson’s Chapter “Winnicott’s Constant Search for the Life that Feels Real”

April 1st, 2023, from 11am-1pm EDT: Psychobiography Reading Group. Reading E. Erikson’s Gandhi’s Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence

For our 3rd meeting, we will be reading Chapters 2 and 3 of Erik Erikson’s Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History.

This reading selection is available for download via the following link:

Some reflections about the book, from Butler-Bowdon’s 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do; Insight and Inspiration:

Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History is a 1958 book by the psychologist Erik Erikson. It was one of the first psychobiographies of a famous historical figure. Erikson found in Martin Luther a good model of his discovery of “the identity crisis”. Erikson was sure he could explain Luther’s spontaneous eruption, during a monastery choir practice, “I am not!”

According to Erikson, Luther suffered through an environment that fomented crisis, and succeeded in a healthy resolution, thereby becoming more fulfilled than if the crisis had not been experienced. In the end Luther chose the obedient, provincial leadership path his father had wished for him, rather than the national fame he could have easily pursued after his celebrity and wealth, but only after Luther had disobeyed and suffered many years in an identity crisis.

If you would like to read the whole book – it can be downloaded from here:

Please note that we have chosen short readings to ensure that it will be read ahead of time.
Individuals who have not done the readings for this group will need to stay muted to establish this as a true discussion group. Participation is free, but the registration/ RSVP is required – via the following form:



We look forward to deepening our knowledge of this psychohistorical approach together, as we probe the lives of fascinating and important people.

If you are interested in joining this group, even if you cannot attend the meeting on June 3rd, please fill out the registration form above and/or contact Inna Rozentsvit at or Paul H. Elovitz at

Best regards,

Paul Elovitz

Paul H. Elovitz, PhD, Historian, Research Psychoanalyst, Online Psychohistory Professor, Psychohistory Forum Director, and Editor, Clio’s Psyche; Author, The Making of Psychohistory: Origins, Controversies, and Pioneering Contributors (Routledge, 2018); Editor, The Many Roads of the Builders of Psychohistory (ORI Academic Press, 2021); Author/Editor of other books. See for additional information.