Peter Gay

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Peter Gay

Post  msistarted on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:45 pm

Peter Gay (born June 20, 1923) is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University and former director of the New York Public Library's Center for Scholars and Writers (1997–2003). Gay received the American Historical Association's (AHA) Award for Scholarly Distinction in 2004. He is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the National Book Award winner The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (1969), the best-selling Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider, (1968), and the widely translated Freud: A Life for Our Time. (1988) [1]

Peter Gay was born in Berlin, Germany in 1923 and emigrated to the United States in 1941. He received his BA from the University of Denver in Colorado in 1946, and his MA and Ph.D from Columbia University in 1947 and 1951, respectively. He studied for one year at University College, London. He has also been recognized with several honorary doctorates. From 1962 to 1969 he was Professor of History at Columbia University. He joined Yale University’s History Department as Professor of Comparative and Intellectual European History in 1969, and was named Sterling Professor of History in 1984.

According to the American Historical Association's Award Citation, Gay's range of "scholarly achievements is truly remarkable". His 1959 book, Voltaire's Politics examined Voltaire as a politician and how his politics influenced the ideas that Voltaire championed in his writings. Gay followed the success of Voltaire's Politics with a wider history of the Enlightenment, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (1969), for which he was honored with the National Book Award in 1967[2] and the Mecher Book Prize. Gay's 1968 book, Weimar Culture was considered at the time to be a ground-breaking[who?] cultural history of the Weimar Republic. Starting in 1978 with Freud, Jews and Other Germans, an examination of the impact of Freudian ideas on German culture, Gay has become increasingly interested in psychology. Many of his works focus on the social impact of psychoanalysis. Gay is a leading champion of Psychohistory and an admirer of Sigmund Freud.

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