psychohistory

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psy·cho·his·to·ry

 (sī′kō-hĭs′tə-rē)
n. pl. psy·cho·his·to·ries
A psychological or psychoanalytic interpretation or study of historical events or persons: the psychohistory of the Nazi era.

psy′cho·his·tor′i·an (-hĭ-stôr′ē-ən, -stŏr′-) n.
psy′cho·his·tor′i·cal (-hĭ-stôr′ĭ-kəl, -stŏr′-) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

psychohistory

(ˌsaɪkəʊˈhɪstərɪ; -ˈhɪstrɪ)
n, pl -ries
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) biography based on psychological theories of personality development
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

psy•cho•his•to•ry

(ˌsaɪ koʊˈhɪs tə ri, -ˈhɪs tri)

n., pl. -ries.
an account of a historical figure that uses theoretical constructs of psychology, esp. psychoanalysis, to explain actions and motivations.
[1930–35]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Vevaina engages the main characteristics of Atwood's postmodern distrust of history and mentions some of the recurrent figures of Atwood's archives (her Puritan ancestor Mary Webster, the pioneer Susanna Moodie, the murderer Grace Marks), describing what she calls psychohistories insofar as these are stories of fragmentation and subjectivity rather than attempts at an objective account of the past.
Starting naturally with Erikson's childhood, he treats his break from Freud, adoption of the US, and such contributions as his concepts of psychosocial stages and identity crisis, and psychohistories of Luther and Gandhi.
The sources are largely secondary, biographies and psychohistories, and gossip and rumors are all reported, although, as the author admits, they cannot all be confirmed.