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Peter Gay

My definition of modernism took a while to develop.

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What interests me, and has always interested me, has been modernism.

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Every historian has informally an anthropology, without ever using the word.

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People seem to forget that one reason they are now thinking differently is Freud's legacy itself.

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My assumption is that fundamentally the picture of the human animal, as developed by Freud, is largely right.

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And my interest in history was, and remains, very strong: what I wanted was to understand certain things better by understanding them psychoanalytically.

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To have a liberal temperament is a kind of psychological boon, To be able to understand that someone you disagree with is not just a terrible creature but somebody with whom you disagree.

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There is something very intriguing about, for example, the sense of accomplishment that a small child has, which you might be able to reduce to aggression and libido, but which might also have some independent existence.

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