People in Trouble
Original Publication: Orgone Institute Press – 1953
Banned from circulation by U.S. Federal Court order – 1954
Burned under FDA supervision – 1956 and 1960
Re-published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux – 1976
"Natural scientific thought bears witness to its own impartiality when it describes social events that occurred at various times that reflect both the paths of error and of remedy. I did not write this book out of emotion or preconceived theory. Nor did I write it as a result of an arbitrary thought process or because I envisioned a state of improved social organization. I gathered the insights summarized here just as a settler in an uninhabited wilderness must gather impressions and experiences if he wishes to survive."
Wilhelm Reich, M.D.
(from the Introduction)
First published by Reich in 1953, People in Trouble is an autobiographical work in which Reich describes the development of his sociological thinking from 1927 to 1937. In simple narrative form he recounts his personal experiences with major social and political events and ideas, and reveals how these experiences gradually led him to an awareness of the deep significance of the human character structure in shaping and responding to the social process.
The importance of Karl Marx's work and its distortion by communist politicians plays an important role in Reich's account, as does the political activity in the International Psychoanalytic Association which led to his expulsion from that organization in 1934. The Norwegian press campaign against his biological experiments is also discussed.
People in Trouble is the story of one man's courageous struggle to understand the political activity of his fellow men.
Read an excerpt [PDF]