CITE: deMause, L. The Foundations of Psychohistory. Creative Roots Publishers. 1982

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In this groundbreaking work, deMause introduces the field of psychohistory and explores the ways in which childhood experiences shape historical events and societal development. He argues that psychological factors such as childrearing practices and trauma have played a major role in shaping the course of human history. By examining the histories of ancient societies and analyzing the psychological dynamics at play, deMause offers a unique perspective on the evolution of human civilization.


  • deMause’s work in psychohistory challenged traditional approaches to history and introduced a new way of understanding the underlying causes of historical events.
  • The book provides a comprehensive overview of psychohistory, including its theoretical foundations and methodological approaches.
  • deMause explores the ways in which early childhood experiences shape adult behavior and societal structures, and argues that a focus on childhood trauma is necessary for understanding the roots of human violence and aggression.
  • He also examines the role of childrearing practices in the development of societies, and argues that cultural evolution is driven in part by changing patterns of childrearing.
  • The book is divided into three sections: an introduction to psychohistory, an overview of the theoretical framework, and case studies that apply psychohistorical analysis to specific historical events.


  • “The human mind can no more be understood without understanding the evolution of the species than can the human body without understanding the evolution of life” (p. 3).
  • “The past is not a collection of dead facts that can be summed up in a chronology, but a living drama that continues to shape our lives” (p. 5).
  • “A psychohistorical understanding of history makes it clear that the dominant modes of child-rearing shape not only the personality structure of individuals but the structure of entire societies” (p. 57).
  • “Psychohistory is not just a new way of looking at history, but a new way of looking at ourselves” (p. 111).
  • “One of the most important contributions of psychohistory is the recognition that child-rearing practices and traumas are the prime movers of historical change” (p. 201).
  • “The evolution of society can be seen as a result of a gradual transformation of child-rearing practices” (p. 223).
  • “Only as we overcome our fear of studying the dark side of our past, only as we uncover our collective childhood traumas, will we be able to lay the foundations of a more humane future” (p. 337).
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