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Recommendations

INTRODUCTORY MATERIALS
(Recommended for those with little or no knowledge of Reich)

The Function of the Orgasm
(First published in 1942 in the United States)

The Function of the Orgasm was Reich's first published book in the United States; he wrote it specifically to introduce his work to an American audience.

Emigrating from Oslo to America, Wilhelm Reich arrived in New York on August 28, 1939, just four days before the outbreak of World War II. In Europe, all of his books and articles had been written and published in German, with the exception of "Bion Experiments on the Cancer Problem", a 30-page abstract of Reich's June 1938 lecture to the Norwegian Society of Medical Students that he published in English shortly before leaving Norway.

Reich published The Function of the Orgasm in 1942, with a second printing in 1948. In it, Reich summarizes his clinical and scientific work with the human organism over a period of twenty years from its roots in the Vienna Seminar on Sexology and his first contact with Sigmund Freud, to his laboratory experiments in Oslo which confirmed his orgasm theory and led to the discovery of a radiating biological energy, the orgone. The Function of the Orgasm is an excellent presentation of the development of Reich's work in its progression from the realm of psychology into that of biology.

Man's Right to Know
(Documentary DVD produced in 2002 by The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust)

This 28-minute introductory biography of Wilhelm Reich was produced by The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust as both the opening exhibit for Museum visitors and as a stand-alone educational tool for wider audiences. This brief documentary provides a concise overview of Reich's life and work, and comprises archival photographs, archival movie footage, and computer animation. Man's Right to Know is not intended as a substitute for reading Reich's literature, but rather as an accessible and factually accurate introduction to Reich's legacy involving his discovery and investigations of orgone energy. This biography also provides a succinct and dramatic account of the FDA's campaign to destroy Reich's work.

For information about the production of Man's Right to Know, please read a transcript of the Trust's remarks at the 2002 Summer Conference at Orgonon.

Reich Speaks of Freud: Wilhelm Reich Discusses His Work and His Relationship with Sigmund Freud
(First published in 1967 in the United States)

The core of this book is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview of Wilhelm Reich, M.D. conducted by Kurt Eissler, M.D. of the Sigmund Freud Archives. This interview took place at Orgonon in Rangeley, Maine on October 18-19, 1952. The result is a profoundly human and unusually candid document that supplies a long-awaited clarification of Reich's relationship with Freud. The directness and informality of the interview technique provides a concise, compelling and easy-to-understand account of Reich’s significant and ultimately tragic relationship with Freud.

Selected Writings – An Introduction to Orgonomy
(First published in 1960 in the United States)

This anthology of selections from the works of Wilhelm Reich was the first re-publishing of his writings since the banning and burning of his literature in America in the 1950s by order of a U.S. Federal Court. This volume was conceived as an introduction to Orgonomy--the science of orgone energy--for a new audience. It comprises key excerpts from Reich's books, research journals and bulletins.

This anthology is not intended to replace any of Reich's books, journals and bulletins, but rather to introduce the reader to these valuable primary resources. It is hoped that these selections will enable to the reader to follow the functional logic of Reich's body of work and to experience the excitement of a scientific legacy that extended for over a third of a century, culminating in Reich’s discovery and practical applications of orgone energy.

Selected Writings also contains a brief biography of Reich, a concise chronology of Reich's scientific development, a glossary of terms from the science of Orgonomy, a bibliography of Reich's publications, Reich's Response to the U.S. Federal Court's Complaint for Injunction, and the Court's Decree of Injunction that ordered the banning and destruction of Reich's publications.

Wilhelm Reich's Last Will & Testament
(Signed on March 8, 1957)

This document, signed four days before Reich's imprisonment, provides an excellent insight into Reich's concerns and strategies for preserving his medical and scientific legacy for future generations. "To my mind," Reich wrote, "the foremost task to be fulfilled was to safeguard the truth about my life and work against distortion and slander after my death."

In this will, Reich creates the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust to carry out his final wishes. He discusses the importance of protecting his archives and provides specific directives to do that. And he expresses his wish that his property at Orgonon be preserved and operated as the Wilhelm Reich Museum.



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