Italian Psychology and Jewish Emigration under Fascism From Florence to Jerusalem and New York

by Patrizia Guarnieri

Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies Series

Italian Psychology and Jewish Emigration under Fascism From Florence to Jerusalem and New York Synopsis

Fascism and the racial laws of 1938 dramatically changed the scientific research and the academic community. Guarnieri focuses on psychology, from its promising origins to the end of the WWII. Psychology was marginalized in Italy both by the neo-idealistic reaction against science, and fascism (unlike Nazism) with long- lasting consequences. Academics and young scholars were persecuted because they were antifascist or Jews and the story of Italian displaced scholars is still an embarrassing one. The book follows scholars who emigrated to the United States, such as psychologist Renata Calabresi, and to Palestine, such as Enzo Bonaventura. Guarnieri traces their journey and the help they received from antifascist and Zionist networks and by international organizations. Some succeeded, some did not, and very few went back.

Italian Psychology and Jewish Emigration under Fascism From Florence to Jerusalem and New York Press Reviews

All the human as well as scientific aspects emerge, and readers are effortlessly led to relive the success and drama. ... Italian psychologists had to make a choice: either to work for the fascist regime ... or to flee the country. Patrizia Guarnieri's book is dedicated to those who choose the latter, and to their ability to `look for work abroad' and contribute to the reconstruction of the discipline from a distance. (Luigi Traetta, Nuncius, 33 (1), 2018) Italian Psychology and Jewish Emigration under Fascism: From Florence to Jerusalem and New York is a meticulously researched monograph by an author who has written widely on the history of Italian psychiatry and criminal anthropology in the late nineteenth century. (Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Vol. 22 (3), June, 2017) Guarnieri's powerful analysis of intellectual and political totalitarianism under Italian Fascism tells a gripping but fearful tale with profound resonances and implications for our own epoch as authoritarian populist nationalism begins to overtake democratic governments in Europe ... . She focuses not on exiled Nobel Prize Winners but on scholars who left without having achieved tenure and found it impossible in the post-war period to be reintegrated into the complex Italian university system. (Dorothy Porter, Medical History, Vol. 61 (2), April 2017) This rich ... work stands as a testament to the art of historical detection. ... Guarnieri made intentional choices to make visible the contingency of archival research. ... Guarnieri's methodological choices make visible the process of historical interpretation and deduction, highlighting the incompleteness of individual pieces of historical evidence. ... This is a creative, and at times, brilliant work ... . (Linda Reeder, Journal of the History of Medicine, Vol. 72 (2), April, 2017) Meticulously researched and beautifully written, this book results from an inspired examination of archival materials from several repositories (in Italy, the USA, the UK and Israel), and especially the files of the refugee scholars' assistance societies. It certainly casts new light on enraging episodes of academic persecutions about which we knew very little until now. (Simone Turchetti, Social History of Medicine, 2017) Guarnieri recreates with rigor and passion an entire environment inhabited by scholars and politicians, men of the institutions and scientists, whose lives were crossed by the regime. She succeeds in bringing to light displaced scholars, forgotten stories of women and men, against the backdrop of Fascism. (Elena Canadelli, European Yearbook of the History of Psychology, Issue 3, 2017) Patrizia Guarnieri has produced an account that challenges many euphemisms, omissions, errors, and lies frequently found in histories of Italian psychology written long after the fascist era had ended. ... Guarnieri's study contributes to a growing literature reconsidering the impact of fascism on disciplinary structures and practices ... . she has contributed to a comparative analysis of the relationship between political power and the construction of knowledge. (Leila Zenderland, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 91 (2), 2017) Drawing upon an impressive amount of primary sources--which include coeval psychology journals and publications as well as manuscripts from private papers and archival repositories in Italy, the United States, England, and Israel--Guarnieri investigates how Benito Mussolini's regime affected the field of psychology in Italy. ... Overall, Bonaventura's and Calabresi's vicissitudes cast further light on the lot of both the exiles fleeing dictatorships and the Jews who had been the victims of fascist anti-Semitism. (Stefano Luconi, H-Italy, H-Net Reviews, networks.h-net.org, September, 2016) This is a book packed to the brim with interesting material for further study ... . It is intensely multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary - touching not just on psychology, but also on social history, trans-national history, cultural studies, Jewish studies, politics and memory. ... book sheds light not just on the history of academic psychology in Italy, but also on a complicated and painful past which has remained hidden for some time. In that sense, it is a brave and important book. (John Foot, History of the Human Sciences, histhum.com, July, 2016) One of the most thoughtful books by Patrizia Guarnieri ... . In detail, the author reconstructs the Italian and international relations and networks that supported Jewish researchers who were persecuted by Nazism and fascism (e.g., Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, London), focusing on the personal stories of Bonaventura and Calabresi. (Renato Foschi, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 52 (3), 2016)

Book Information

ISBN: 9781137306555
Publication date: 5th January 2016
Author: Patrizia Guarnieri
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 275 pages
Categories: Social & cultural history, Migration, immigration & emigration, European history,

About Patrizia Guarnieri

Patrizia Guarnieri is Professor of Cultural and Social History in the S.A.G.A.S. Department at the University of Florence, Italy. She has been a lecturer in Overseas Studies of Stanford University, USA and taught courses approved by the Psychology Department and the History of Science Program. She is the author of numerous publications, including A Case of Child Murder: Law and Science in Nineteenth-Century Tuscany, which has been translated into English.

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