Most helpful positive review
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Brief yet very good introduction to psychoanalysis.
on December 30, 2001
This book is an excellent beginners text on the history of psychoanalysis. It is by no means exhaustive, nor could it be. It simply covers too many important personalities to be more than introductory, yet it fulfills that purpose admirably. The book traces the history of thought in and about the subject of psychoanalysis. It begins with Freud's discovery of the psychogenic nature of hysteria, to his discovery of the unconscious, some of his other theories, and how he applied them in clinical management of patients. Others studied under him, and came to realize new facts about the mind, and new dimensions in the way it operates. This, in turn, gave rise to newer theories. The book traces this expansion, synthesis and sometimes clash between theories to bring us to our present understanding of the mind. The meaning of these theories is demonstrated in concrete terms by the inclusion of clinical cases to demonstrate the various types of pathological manifestations. The book flows very well from one psychoanalyst to another, emphasizing the indebtedness of each to their predecessors. Sigmund and Anna Freud, Adler, Bettelheim, Jung, Sullivan, Bowlby, Kahn and many others are revealed. It is both scientific and historical at the same time, and is very engaging. A good read!