The war is declared. There have been wars as long as mankind remembers, but this is not a war like others. This is the war which will stand out from the world's history like a Titan among the pigmies. This is the war in which undreamed-of armies will storm against each other; the war in which the battles will be fought on land and sea, under the water and high in the air; the war in which the ground of the whole globe will be shaken.
-from "Chapter I: The Aggressors"
As a psychologist and an innovator of experimental psychology, Hugo Münsterberg was a powerful influence on thinking in both the medical and social arenas at the turn of the 20th century, developing practical applications of psychology to industry, medicine, education, the arts, and criminal investigation.
Here, though, in this 1914 work, Münsterberg turns his scientific eye on American culture as it was on the precipice of World War I, which he rightly foresaw as a horrific Great War.
With the perspective not only of an educated and insightful social observer but also as a German immigrant with torn loyalties, Münsterberg's commentary serves as a unique and little-heard viewpoint on a storied period of American history... but also as a key into the mind of a man whose work continues today to impact our understanding of psychology and human behavior.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: Münsterberg's Psychology and Social Sanity, The Eternal Life, American Traits, and Psychotherapy
OF INTEREST TO: students of World War I, readers of the history of psychology
German-American psychologist and philosopher HUGO MÜNSTERBERG (1863-1916) was professor of psychology at Harvard University from 1892 until his death. He was elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1898.