Personology

Personology

A psychological examination of historically significant lives. We will peek into the minds of our subject to answer, what made them tick? Uncovering the personal motivations that drove their public acts and how those acts in turn changed all our lives.

Episodes

March 29, 2021 51 min

Abraham Lincoln contemplated suicide more than once in his life, he knew suffering and yet he is perhaps histories' greatest leader through a period of time where the nation also wept, the American Civil War. 

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Howard Hughes was one of the most financially successful businessmen of all time, an engineer, a record setting pilot, film producer and philanthropist, his obsessive compulsive disorder drove his ability to stunningly innovate but ultimately it caused great suffering.

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Marilyn Monroe had a traumatic upbringing, yet marketed herself into one of the worlds most famous actresses. Despite her many successes she longed to feel truly loved but never found her love adequately requited.

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Ernest Hemingway was one of the most accomplished writers of the 20th century and also one of the most colorful public figures of his lifetime, underneath that he suffered mightily from bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Unfortunately, the two were inexorably connected. 

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March 1, 2021 71 min

Lenny Bruce invented the genre of satirical comedy against a back drop of depression, substance abuse and constant legal troubles for public obscenity. Original and innovative his diseases ultimately ended his life.

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Marie Curie discovered two elements and radioactivity while enduring deep clinical depressions, even as the sexism of the time tried to deny her the 2 nobel prizes she won. 

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Matthew Henson is likely the first man to set foot on the north pole due to his deep curiosity, tenacity and unusal survival skills. The racism of the time may have robbed him of wide recognition but not the feat.

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Muhammad Ali remains one of the greatest boxers of all time, but he was also a principled pacifist, Muslim and important to the civil rights movement. What drove this colorful, larger than life man?

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Henry VIII was considered amongst the most charismatic and consequential of Kings, marrying six times and establishing the Church of England, what explains his physical and mental downfall later in life?

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Amy Winehouse was a grammy award winning pop, soul and jazz singer whose haunting voice and astonishingly emotive lyrics revealed her short, tumultuous, tempestuous and addiction permeated life. What led to her incomprehensible talent and insurmountable struggle?

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January 19, 2021 1 min

From Henry VIII to Lenny Bruce to Amy Winehouse, season 2 of Personology will dive into 10 more fascinating historical and popular figures to see what makes them tick. Join Dr. Gail Saltz January 25th for more Personology!

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Joe McCarthy was a U.S. republican senator from Wisconsin who from the late 1940's through much of the 1950s championed the idea that there was rampant communist subversion in various institutions and individuals in the United States, an attack campaign which came to be known as McCarthyism.

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At one point Joe McCarthy was amongst the most powerful and dangerous of people, what specifically within his character, personality and earlier life experiences enabled him to rise from poor farm boy to senator to demagogue?

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Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi party, dictator in Germany from 1933-1945, initiator of world war II, perpetrator of the Holocaust and widely considered one of the most evil leaders in all of history.

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Martin Luther King Junior was an activist, minister and the most visible leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He advanced civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. His strategy was both revolutionary and effective.

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April 27, 2020 34 min

Decades after his death, John Lennon is still one of the most well-known artists of all time. His life and work went through many changes, but perhaps no influence was more impactful than his relationship with Yoko Ono.

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John Lennon was one of the worlds most revered singer songwriters, and peace activists. His lyrics are filled with unresolved mourning and longing which can be understood as a product of his early traumatic life. How did John's childhood suffering inform his creative productions and drive his desire for peace?

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April 13, 2020 50 min

Diane Arbus, a renowned photographer who changed our view of acceptable subject matter with shocking and emotionally riveting photographs of people considered to be on the fringes of society, or as she called them freaks. Her own struggle with depression and internal feelings of being an outsider, an oddity, drove her creative passion.

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Frida Kahlo is a revolutionary Mexican, feminist, and LGBTQ artist whose devastating trauma became the key ingredient in her ability to evocatively show pain and suffering on a canvas. She became a symbol of revolution for the disenfranchised. What made her willing and able to reveal her own differences and stand for the rights of others?

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Albert Einstein is the theoretical physicist who discovered the theory of relativity and E=MC². He changed our understanding of the universe more than any other scientist. How and why was he such an original thinker? How did his personal life inform his scientific works?

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