Friedman, Lawrence J. 1940–
Friedman, Lawrence J. 1940–
(Lawrence Jacob Friedman)
PERSONAL: Born October 8, 1940, in Cleveland, OH; son of Joseph (a life insurance broker) and Lena (a life insurance agent; maiden name, Malkin) Friedman; married Sharon Bloom, April 3, 1966; children: Beth. Education: University of California—Riverside, B.A., 1962; University of California—Los Angeles, M.A., 1965, Ph.D., 1967. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Jogging, swimming.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, Indiana University, P.O. Box 742, Ballantine Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405-7103. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of California, Los Angeles, acting instructor in history, 1967; Indiana University, Fort Wayne, assistant professor, 1967–68; Arizona State University, Tempe, assistant professor of history, 1968–71; Bowling Green University, Bowling Green, OH, associate professor, 1971–77, professor of history and American studies, 1977–91, distinguished university professor, 1991–93, coordinator of graduate studies in history, 1989–93; Indiana University, Bloomington, professor of history, 1993–, director of the Center on Philanthropy. Lecturer at University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1986–87, and Duke University, 1989–90; visiting scholar, Harvard University, 1991, visiting professor, Harvard University, 2004–05. Consultant, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1988.
MEMBER: Society of American Historians (fellow), American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, American Studies Association, Group for the Use of Psychology in History, Indiana Association of Historians.
AWARDS, HONORS: Research grant, Indiana University, 1968; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, 1971–72, 1979–80, 1986–87, and 1994–95; research grant, American Council for Learned Societies, 1976; Bancroft Book Prize runner-up, 1991; Lilly Endowment Major Projects Research Grant, 1998; John Adams fellowship, Institute of the United States, University of London, 1999; Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine fellowship, 1999; Fulbright Distinguished Chair to Germany, 2001–02.
The White Savage: Racial Fantasies in the Postbellum South, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1970.
Inventors of the Promised Land, Knopf (New York, NY), 1975.
Gregarious Saints: Self and Community in American Abolitionism, 1830–1870, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, NY), 1982.
Identity's Architect: A Biography of Erik Erikson, Scribner's (New York, NY), 1999.
(Editor, with Mark D. McGarvie) Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor to books, including American Culture Critics, edited by David Murray, University of Exeter Press, 1995; and Trauma and Self, edited by Charles Strozier and Michael Flynn, Rowman & Littlefield (Savage, MD), 1996. Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Negro History, Societas, Organization of American Historians Newsletter, Contemporary Psychology, Phylon, and New England Quarterly. Associate editor, Psychohistory Review, beginning 1981; editorial advisor, Black Abolitionist Papers Project, 1983–90; consulting editor, History of Psychology, 1996–2001; editorial advisor, Psychoanalysis and History, 1999–.
SIDELIGHTS: History professor Lawrence J. Friedman once told CA that he has "been focusing my work on the psychological and institutional variables basic to American racial attitudes. I plan to continue in this direction enlarging my scope methodologically through technical knowledge of medical techniques and psychoanalysis." This interest has led Friedman to write books studying the psychological past of institutions and individuals, most recently in the books Menninger: The Family and the Clinic and Identity's Architect: A Biography of Erik Erikson.
Menninger is Friedman's psychological study of the family that founded the Menninger Foundation and how the conflicting personalities there, especially of brothers Karl and Will Menninger, shaped the growth and bureaucracy of this famous mental health research facility. "Friedman's blending of collective biography and institutional history offers interesting and important insights into the nature of institution building in mid-twentieth century America," reported Jacqueline S. Wilkie in the Journal of Social History. Although the author investigates the history of the entire Menninger family, he is most preoccupied with the conflicts between Karl and Will, and how their personality differences resulted in the necessity of institutionalized processes—additional layers of bureaucracy—at the foundation in order to minimize conflicts among supervisors and staff. Despite this effort, family differences proved to be damaging to the institution. Although Wilkie objected to Friedman's interpretation that "Karl's sense that his mother 's domineering personality was at the root of his psychological problems," the critic concluded that "this book is rich with fascinating tidbits of information about the Menningers and their clinic. Additionally, it offers compelling insights into the interaction between individuals and institutions." Publishers Weekly contributor Genevieve Stuttaford similarly said that Menninger is "a scholarly and absorbing family biography and history of the Menninger Foundation."
After Menninger, Friedman completed a biography of renowned psychologist Erik H. Erikson, the scientist who studied the development of the human concept of self-identity, created the eight-stage model for human development, and coined the phrases "identity crisis" and "ego identity." Erikson, Friedman stated in Identity's Architect, suffered from an identity crisis of his own. A Harvard professor who was trained by Sigmund Freud's daughter, Anna, Erikson was born out of wedlock and raised by his mother and stepfather. "As the author convincingly suggests," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor, "the circumstances of Erikson's childhood later prompted him to investigate the basis for a constant, enduring identity." Born in Denmark but raised in Germany, the son of a Jew and a Gentile, Erikson struggled with his sense of self throughout his life; even professionally, he wavered between Freudian and Jungian schools of thought. Critics of Identity's Architect found Friedman's biography insightful and enlightening. Although Library Journal writer E. James Lieberman was puzzled as to why the author did not investigate further the startling revelation that Erikson's fourth child was abandoned in a mental institution, the reviewer asserted that Friedman "weaves a wonderful tapestry of the life and work of a man who approached greatness." Ellen Herman, writing in Tikkun, also attested that "Identity's Architect is engrossing, full of telling details about Erikson's marriage and family, his accomplishments, and the settings that nurtured his ideas."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Journal of Economics and Sociology, July, 2005, Gerald F. Vaughn, review of Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History, p. 963.
Journal of Social History, fall, 1993, Jacqueline S. Wilkie, review of Menninger: The Family and the Clinic, p. 187.
Journal of Southern History, May, 2004, David L. Davis, review of Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History, p. 492.
Library Journal, June 15, 1999, E. James Lieberman, review of Identity's Architect: A Biography of Erik H. Erikson, p. 96.
Publishers Weekly, April 20, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Menninger, p. 64; March 15, 1999, review of Identity's Architect, p. 35.
Tikkun, March, 2000, Ellen Herman, "Remembering Erikson," p. 61.