Paul Roazen's study of Sigmund Freud and his complex relationships with the men and women who formed his circle is widely recognized as the best portrait of Freud and his world, and it focuses as much on the human dramas involved as on the ideas the participants developed. Here, around the master, are the disciples Alfred Adler, Wilhelm Stekel, Carl Jung, and Otto Rank, who broke away to found their own movements; the loyalists such as Karl Abraham and Sandor Ferenczi; the great woman therapists, including Helene Deutsch, Melanie Klein, and Anna Freud; as well as such younger students as Wilhelm Reich, Erik Erikson, and Erich Fromm. Roazen draws on several hundred interviews with more than 70 people who knew Freud, as well as the unreleased papers of his authorized biographer, Ernest Jones.
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(229mm x 153mm x 41mm)
Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
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US Kirkus Review »
Roazen's survey of the august founder of psychoanalysis and his entourage is penetrating and comprehensive - magnificent in scope and achievement. His purpose was to "find out what was not in the books - either the details which one had not taken the trouble to nail down or anything that would have been so much taken for granted as not to have been considered worth recording." He interviewed 70 people who knew "the Professor" (as he was called), 40 who were professional participants or aficionados of the movement, and 25 of Freud's former patients; he also acquired access to Ernest Jones' papers, hitherto unsifted. His book is an impressionistic perusal of the men and women, the human dramas of their relations, and the symbiosis of their lives and ideas. We read of Freud the Jew (attracted to Jung as a Gentile); the verbal rationalist (unable to respond to music); the celibate (abstaining, probably, since the 1890's); the "hero worshipper" (Moses, Napoleon, fathers); the therapist (his practices were often unconventional, contradicting his own ideas); the cynical moralist ("I have found little that is 'good' about human beings. . . . Most of them are trash"). Roazen recognizes that "the theory and practice of psychoanalysis served Freud as instruments of self-concealment as well as self-discovery," and often differs with Jones, considering him idolatrous, even dishonest in his suppression of derogatory material. We read of his devoted coterie, from the dissidents Adler, Jung, and Rank (Freud was more doctrinaire than Jones would like to think), to the loyalists - Jones himself, Ferenczi, Brunswick, and Deutsch. He explores the romance and authority of the "master"; the endemic suicides; the inbred treatments (epitomized by Freud's analysis of his own daughter); the effects of Freud's cancer on his followers ("The most important watershed I found among those who knew Freud personally came at 1923 - the year he contracted cancer. . ."). A distinguished and poignant study. (Kirkus Reviews)
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