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Peter Gay (1923–2015)

Author of Freud: A Life for Our Time

56+ Works 6,556 Members 52 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

Peter Gay lives in New York City and Connecticut.


Works by Peter Gay

Freud: A Life for Our Time (1988) 978 copies, 6 reviews
Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider (1968) 664 copies, 5 reviews
The Rise of Modern Paganism (1966) 564 copies, 1 review
Modernism: The Lure of Heresy (2007) 458 copies, 6 reviews
Age of enlightenment (1966) — Author — 414 copies, 5 reviews
Mozart (2001) 411 copies, 7 reviews
The Science of Freedom (1969) 386 copies, 1 review
Education of the Senses (1984) 300 copies, 2 reviews
The Cultivation of Hatred (1993) 203 copies, 1 review
My German question: growing up in Nazi Berlin (1998) 197 copies, 5 reviews
Pleasure Wars (1998) 175 copies
The Tender Passion (1986) 167 copies
The Naked Heart (1995) 137 copies, 1 review
Freud for Historians (1985) 125 copies, 1 review
The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (1966) 116 copies, 1 review
Style in History (1974) 114 copies
Modern Europe to 1815 (1973) 50 copies
Why the Romantics Matter (2015) 35 copies
the Bridge of Criticism (1970) 26 copies
Deism; an anthology (1968) 14 copies
Freud, une vie, tome 1 (2002) 2 copies
The Modern World Volume III (1972) — Editor — 1 copy
Freud, une vie, tome 2 (2002) 1 copy
Goya 1 copy
Chess Story 1 copy

Associated Works

Candide (1759) — Translator, some editions — 20,756 copies, 313 reviews
Chess Story (1943) — Introduction, some editions — 4,077 copies, 115 reviews
Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1917) — Introduction, some editions — 2,356 copies, 21 reviews
The Future of an Illusion (1927) — Introduction, some editions — 1,753 copies, 14 reviews
Philosophical Dictionary (1764) — Translator, some editions — 1,212 copies, 10 reviews
Basic Political Writings (1987) — Introduction, some editions — 1,071 copies, 4 reviews
The Freud Reader (1989) — Editor, some editions — 927 copies, 5 reviews
An Outline of Psychoanalysis (1940) — Introduction, some editions — 680 copies, 4 reviews
New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1933) — Introduction, some editions — 655 copies, 4 reviews
Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1922) — Introduction, some editions — 646 copies, 4 reviews
The Philosophy of the Enlightenment (1932) — Foreword, some editions — 515 copies, 2 reviews
Napoleon's Russian Campaign (1824) — Introduction, some editions — 440 copies, 8 reviews
The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure and Effects of National Socialism (1969) — Introduction, some editions — 227 copies, 1 review
Candide [Norton Critical Edition, 1st ed.] (1966) — Contributor — 159 copies, 3 reviews
Horizon Magazine Volume 17 Number 01 1975 Winter (1968) — Contributor — 25 copies
Carl Becker's Heavenly City Revisited (1968) — Contributor — 7 copies
Hitler et la dictature allemande (1970) — Introduction, some editions — 5 copies


18th century (138) 19th century (117) 20th century (182) Austria (125) Austrian literature (83) biography (350) chess (214) classics (79) cultural history (124) Enlightenment (321) Europe (112) European History (183) fiction (354) France (72) French (96) French literature (74) Freud (426) German (140) German History (64) German literature (107) Germany (151) historiography (65) history (1,071) intellectual history (97) literature (142) music (82) non-fiction (621) novel (67) novella (125) philosophy (959) politics (89) psychoanalysis (742) psychology (1,159) read (81) religion (188) science (66) Sigmund Freud (72) to-read (589) translation (72) WWII (90)

Common Knowledge



Involving, personal memoir of growing up in Nazi Berlin as a non-practicing Jew. He shares his emotions and how he coped. His family barely made it out in 1939 just before the war. Worthwhile.
kslade | 4 other reviews | Dec 8, 2022 |
Mozart: A Life, by Peter Gay (pp 177) Published 1999. This Penguin Lives book is a nice introduction in the life of arguably the best Western composer in the world. It covers his childhood as a father-dominated prodigy, his usefulness as an income producer to his family, his eventual attempt at independence, and his mostly but not entirely successful life as an adored composer. I had no idea of his attraction to scatalogical humor and, frankly, a biography this brief would have been nine the worse for imitating it. I was also unaware of how musicians and composers, including geniuses, were thoroughly dependent on the largesse of money-granting nobles. It was quite difficult for them to exist without patrons, especially if an artist was addicted to a rich lifestyle. Details of his life aside, this brief biography points me toward some of his better appreciated works, many of which I should be able obtain through my dear electronic friend Alexa.… (more)
wildh2o | 6 other reviews | Jul 10, 2021 |
A delightful hidden gem; it covers - briefly - three Puritan Historians in rough chronological order: William Bradford, Cotton Mather, and finally Jonathan Edwards. It marked, in some ways, the beginning of written history in the colonies as well as the gradual end of a Christian-centric interpretation of that history which was modeled on Augustine and his City of God. Well worth a read.
MusicforMovies | 1 other review | May 17, 2021 |
The Weimar Republic was born from the collapse of one empire and was murdered in the rise of another. In the span between, however, it was the site of one of the most extraordinarily fruitful cultural movements in Western history, one that would spread far beyond the borders of interwar Germany to shape the cultural aesthetics of a century. Peter Gay’s book is an extended essay about this development. Over the course of a half-dozen chapters, he offers a perceptive analysis of German culture in the 1920s, one that assesses the shapes it took and how it reflected the tumultuous events surrounding it.

What Gay describes amounts to an explosion of cultural exploration in the aftermath of the demise of the German empire in 1918. Freed from its oppressive cultural conservatism, many German artists, writers, and designers pushed the avant-garde to new levels of innovation. These efforts were fueled by their criticisms of a society still dominated by much of the Wilhelmine old order, which provided them with subject material to portray and critique. Yet Gay makes it clear that to think of Weimar culture exclusively in terms of Expressionism and the Bauhaus school is false, as he shows the equally important contribution made by conservative intellectuals who sought to come to terms with Germany’s circumstances in their own works. In the short term their contributions proved more relevant, as the rightward turn of German youth in the early 1930s that Gay describes fueled the rapid growth of the Nazi-led right, the triumph of which brought an end to the cultural experimentation of the Weimar era.

As one of the 20th century’s foremost cultural historians Gay left behind an impressive body of insightful works. Yet his short book stands out from them thanks to a personal tone that inflects much of the work. As a refugee from Nazi Germany, Gay was a personal witness to the aftermath of the era he describes, one that gives his book an almost elegiac tone in its description of a culture doomed to extinction. Writing as he does with an assumption of his readers’ familiarity with the era, this is not a book that should serve as someone’s introduction to the period. Yet it is one that anyone seeking to understand interwar German history must come to terms with, thanks to Gay’s graceful prose and his penetrating judgments of his subject.
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MacDad | 4 other reviews | Jan 3, 2021 |



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