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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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(p.473) Introduction
The Essential Ellen Willis

Stanley Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This section contains excerpts from a book-length project tentatively titled “The Cultural Unconscious in American Politics: Why We Need a Freudian Left.” The book’s central argument is that our understanding of cultural and political crises would be incomplete without a psychoanalytic dimension. The three draft chapters written integrate many of these elements with a nuanced and persuasive account of the salience of radical psychoanalytic thought. The book’s starting point is Sigmund Freud’s ideas about the influence of the unconscious on human behavior, especially the compelling power of libido. The book also finds the basis for its claims about radical psychoanalysis in Erich Fromm’s early work, Herbert Marcuse’s seminal Eros and Civilization, and especially in the many writings of Wilhelm Reich.

Keywords:   unconscious, Ellen Willis, The Cultural Unconscious in American Politics, Sigmund Freud, human behavior, libido, psychoanalysis, Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization, cultural radicalism

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