Lawrence J. Friedman

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Lawrence J. Friedman

"In his dissertation, which became his first book, The White Savage: Racial Fantasies in the Postbellum South, Larry took on C. Vann Woodward’s thesis that there was a late nineteenth-century lull in the racial hatred and animus that characterized the post-Reconstruction South until the turn of the century when segregation and lynching became pervasive in the Deep South...

"I asked Larry about his current work: “I’m about to finish a biography of Erich Fromm-if you want to frame someone who’s an activist and a scholar, that was Fromm, the author of Escape from Freedom. One thing I found about Fromm, in addition to very much sharing Erikson’s orientation, the intersection of outer social circumstances and inner psyche, I found out that he was able to pitch his books, which have considerable depth, to a very popular audience. He would sell anywhere from five million to thirty-seven million copies of each book. So one day I’m wondering where all this money goes, and I got hold of his tax returns, and he’s giving it all away. He gives everything away to the civil rights movement, to the ACLU, to all these other groups which brought him considerable influence, and he was just writing out large checks all the time. So with this dimension I see somebody who has been an activist, a scholar, a donor, and I’m very comfortable with him, and it’s a very wonderful life he lived.”" [1]

Recent Books

  • Lawrence J. Friedman, Identity's Architect: A Biography of Erik H. Erikson
  • Lawrence J. Friedman, Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History (Cambridge University Press, 2003). Co-edited with Mark D. McGarvie.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles