Peter Gay


Born
in Berlin, Germany
June 20, 1923

Died
May 12, 2015

Genre


The son of a glassware maker, Peter Joachim Fröhlich grew up in Germany as the Nazis rose to power. Escaping in 1938 with the rest of his family on the last boat of refugees admitted to Cuba, he gained entry with them to the United States two years later, whereupon he changed his name to Gay. He graduated from the University of Denver in 1946 and earned a master's and doctorate in history from Columbia University.

Gay taught at Columbia from 1947 until 1969. In 1969 he joined the faculty at Yale University, where he taught until he retired as Sterling Professor of History in 1993. He was a former director of the New York Public Library's Center for Scholars and Writers from 1997 until 2003. Gay was the recipient of numerous awards, including
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“The true hypocrite knows what he is doing, and does it to his own advantage. The unconscious hypocrite is simply man in civilization.”
Peter Gay, Education of the Senses: The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud

“Freud never questioned the powerful participation of objective realities in the very constitution of human experience. Love, as he put it late in life, seeks objects. So does hatred. And those objects are external, not internal, agents of experience.”
Peter Gay, Education of the Senses: The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud

“the Vernunftrepublikaner the Republic was, in a sense, the punishment that the Germans, aristocrats and bourgeois, deserved; it was infinitely preferable to the barbarism of the right and the irresponsibility of the left;”
Peter Gay, Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider

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