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Acts of Will (the Life & Work of Otto Rank) Hardcover – February 1, 1985

ISBN-13: 978-0029190203 ISBN-10: 0029190207 Edition: First

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First edition (February 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029190207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029190203
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Milwaukee, 1934, to a violinist mother and physician father. Settled in Oakland post-war. AB, University of California, Berkeley; MD, UCSF, 1958; trained in psychiatry and public health at Harvard: MPH 1963. Served in the US Public Health Service at NIMH, Bethesda, 1963-1970. Practiced psychiatry, mainly psychotherapy, until retirement in 2007. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, emeritus, George Washington University. Also taught at Howard U. Medical School and Harvard U. School of Public Health (Maternal and Child Health).

Married; two children with familes. Hobbies: cello, chess, Esperanto, swimming, family history. Book reviewer for Library Journal (Special Award, 2006), Bulletin of the History of Medicine, PsycCritiques (Am. Psychological Assn.), ForeWord Magazine, Metapsychology Reviews online.

Became interested in psychologist Otto Rank (1884-1939) and wrote "Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank," 1985; pb with new preface 1993. French and German eds. 1991 & 1997. Edited English translations of Rank's "Psychology and the Soul," 1998, and "Myth of the Birth of the Hero," 2nd ed., 2004. See www.ottorank.com

Co-author, with Karen L. Troccoli (my daughter): "Like it Is: A Teen Sex Guide," 1998. With Robert Kramer: "The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank: Inside Psychoanalysis," 2012.

Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association. Fellow, American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Psychiatry. Psychotherapist Associate, American Psychoanalytic Association. Member: Authors Guild; Associated Chamber Music Players; Fellowship of Reconciliation. Board Member: Center on Conscience and War; Jewish Peace Fellowship; Compassion and Choices--National Capital Area.

Customer Reviews

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This is an important book about an important contributor to the nascent physoanlysis movement.
P. Nathanael Gough
Dr. E. James Lieberman's Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank is one of the finest histories of the development of psychoanalysis ever written.
"marott"
Acts of Will is not only a brilliantly written biography, it is a journey of hope for both therapist and patient.
Mary Schroy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "marott" on December 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dr. E. James Lieberman's Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank is one of the finest histories of the development of psychoanalysis ever written. His meticulous research provides the reader with an opportunity to look into the personal and intellectual life of Otto Rank,the most overlooked and underrated disciple of Sigmund Freud. What I found to be most informative was Dr. Lieberman's description of the interpersonal dynamics among the Committee, Freud's closest colleagues. Dr. Lieberman's masterful work brings the reader into the every day world of the pioneers in the field of psychoanalysis. His descriptions of the personal agendas, politics,personalities, and disagreements among the "Ring" of psychoanalytic pioneers helps those interested in the field of psychotherapy clearly understand the intellectual and political foundations of modern psychology. Acts of Will is superb in its description of the intellectual, economic, and political milieu of Vienna during the first two decades of this century and the influences of these forces on Freud and Rank. The author's treatment of the issue of Rank's own "birth trauma" before and after Rank's departure (exile) from Freud's inner circle allows the reader to come to his or her own conclusions with respect to the genesis of the controversy concerning Rank's "mental health". Acts of Will should be read by every student of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Social Work, as well as anyone interested in the fascinating history of modern psychology.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mary Schroy on December 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Acts of Will is not only a brilliantly written biography, it is a journey of hope for both therapist and patient. As the new century draws near, it is profoundly telling that now more than ever, the psychology of Otto Rank is so relevant to the world today. Obviously, Rank was far ahead of his time. His teachings of "psychological rebirth" and "concept of will" should be mandatory reading for all mental Health professionals and their patients. Rank's honesty in dealing with his own depression and suicidal thoughts will give the reader much hope that even the most brilliant person can face death, choose life, and make living an Act of Will.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Schmitz on June 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
"What's the best way to go about understanding Otto Rank?" someone asked a few months ago.

It's a good question because Otto Rank might just be our most neglected genius. And, in my opinion, it is costing us a good measure of personal and cultural well-being for not keeping up with this wizard of human nature who examines the health of our creative urges sustained by our wills to bring them to life.

The best introduction to Otto Rank is this remarkable biography "Acts of Will," by E. James Lieberman, MD, maybe the best biography I've read for its immediate and lasting impact on a wide range of things that make my own life worth while.

Published twenty-five years ago, Lieberman's biography seems brand new. He gives us an Otto Rank who is comprehensible, thought provoking and somehow charming on a personal level, as if Rank were the reader's own egalitarian, non-directive therapist.

Well researched, organized and written, it is also, importantly I believe, an emotionally rich, non-judgmental Rankian treatment of the life of Otto Rank, and reflects what must be Lieberman's own remarkable clinical skills as an Clinical Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychiatry at The George Washington University School of Medicine.

A must read not only for those in the field, but for countless others who experience the necessarily lonely ambiguities, the urging and submerging, the shifting vitality and guilt of their own creativity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Lieberman masterfully illuminates the life and work of Otto Rank, Freud's most brilliant student and co-worker. This book expalins why Ernest Becker and Rollo May consider Rank to be the most dazzling thinker in the early circle around Freud
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